Federal Character Commission Probes DSS Over ‘Lopsided Recruitment’

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The Federal Character Commission (FCC) has demanded an explanation from the Department of State Services (DSS) over the recent recruitment into the organisation which has been described as lopsided.

The Nation Newspaper, quoted its Chairman, Dr. Shettima Abba, as saying that the commission has given the DSS a three-month ultimatum to explain the alleged appointment lopsidedness or face appropriate sanctions.

There has been an outcry in the country after the DSS recruited 51 persons from Katsina state alone whereas all the states in the South South got a combined 42 candidates.

The action is believed to have unduly favoured some states, contrary to section 14 (3) of the 1999 constitution as amended.

The report sparked outrage across the land, with many calling for thorough investigations into the alleged lopsidedness.

In his reaction, Abba pleaded for time before the commission would be able to make a categorical statement, adding that the DSS Director General, Mallam Lawal Daura, is out of the country on assignment.

He pledged that investigation would be carried out to determine if the agency had breached any extant law relating to appointments in line with the rules of the FCC.

He said: “In the Federal Character Commission, we are looking at the total number of indigenes of each state in a particular organisation. With the DSS, until we look at the total number on the nominal roll and compare it with the recruitment recently made, we cannot categorically say anything yet.

“The FCC has given the DSS three months to respond. If they don’t respond, whatever sanction that is being applied shall be taken. No answer has been given by the DSS because the DG is not in the country.

“Similar lopsided recruitment has been made in the past. That was in 2014-2016 which people complained about. We want to now go in to look at the total number from each state and this will determine our action.

“Although I have not seen the nominal roll I believe this one might be a corrective measure. We have already written to the DSS to supply us with the details of the recruitment and the details of their nominal roll including those who applied and those shortlisted so that we can confirm if the recruitment is lopsided or not. If we discover that it is lopsided, we will advise them appropriately.

“Certain states are seriously over employed, if you look at the recent ones, if they were under represented in the previous recruitment before this one, then it is a corrective measure.

“For now it is not yet time for us to conclude on anything. They have to provide us with details of their manpower across the states.

“The advertisement the DSS did was internal on their website. That was the reason we wrote to them to tell us the processes they used, we had earlier sent them our own processes of recruitment before and after they recruited. They are aware of FCC procedures and guidelines of advertisements, bringing out a long list and a short list on how these things are being done.”



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