A palpable crisis is currently brewing as senior officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have vowed not to recognise the appointment of Roli Bode-George as chairman of the agency.
Following the retirement of Ahmadu Giade from the NDLEA, after serving ten years as Chairman, some top officials of the agency were reported to have written a petition rejecting the appointment of Mrs. Bode-George as the new acting Chairman saying, “her appointment is unacceptable because she is not an employee of the NDLEA.”
The aggrieved senior officers, while describing the situation, in the petition said “the appointment of Mrs Roli Bode-George is breeding disaffection in the 25-year old agency.” They appealed to “President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the appointment of one of the directors of NDLEA as the chairman/chief executive.”
The officers wrote: “It is interesting to know that both the chairman/chief executive and the secretary of the agency are appointed by the President and Commander-in-Chief in what has been described as two key political appointees on consolidated salary. In view of the end of the tenure of Giade and vociferous clamour for a staff of the agency to take over leadership, it has become necessary to clarify who members of staff of the agency are.”
They explained that the staff of the agency were those defined in Section 5(5) and (6) of the NDLEA Act, which spelt out terms and conditions of service of officers.
“It is obvious from the above provisions that the chairman/chief executive and the agency secretary are not staff since their appointments are not in accordance with the terms and conditions of the service of the agency.
“Thus, the clamour for a staff of the agency to take over the top job clearly excludes the secretary of the agency. This is more so, given the fact that Mrs Roli Bode George, was appointed in October, 2014, as secretary without any law enforcement background,” the petition stated,” the officers stressed.
In a petition titled: “Who Succeeds Ahmadu Giade in NDLEA After Ten Years in the Saddle”, the senior officers maintained that precedents in other national agencies showed that Roli who was the NDLEA secretary, was not in a suitable position to take over as the chairman/chief executive.
The petition added: “When Nuhu Ribadu was removed as the EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, then director of Operations, was appointed as acting chairman.
‘’When Mrs. Farida Waziri was also removed as EFCC chairman, the director of Operation was again made to act as chairman pending appointment of a substantive chairman. On all these occasions, the EFCC also has a secretary.”
Speaking on the development, NDLEA spokesperson, Mitchell Ofoyeju, said Giade’s decision to hand over to Mrs. Bode-George was in accordance with the law.
“There is nothing wrong about handing over to the director-general. Ordinarily, the President should appoint the next chairman/chief executive, but since that has not been done yet, the DG is the next to the chairman in terms of hierarchy and is also the secretary to the board,” Ofoyeju said.