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Senate probes alleged lopsided recruitment in DSS

.Orders Lottery Commission DG to vacate office

Senate on Thursday endorsed the move by its committee on Federal Character to carry out thorough investigation on the alleged lopsided recruitment recently carried out by the Department of State Services (DSS).
Also, the Upper Legislative chamber has ordered the Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila, to vacate his office immediately for assuming office without the required confirmation by it as stipulated by the constitution.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Character, Senator Tijjani Abubakar Kaura (APC Zamfara North), had during Senate plenary on Thursday declared that his committee based on petitions received from concerned Nigerians on recent recruitment carried out by DSS, resolved to probe the exercise considered to be highly lopsided in favour of a particular state and section of the country.
Senator Kaura, who rose through order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules to intimate the Senate of the move, said probing the alleged lopsided recruitment by the DSS and taking needed steps thereafter, would go a long way in restoring the confidence of Nigerians on the principles of federal character required for such exercise on the basis of equity, justice and fairness.
Accordingly, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in his response to Kaura’s submission, gave the Senate Committee on Federal Character the go ahead with the probe and update the Senate with its findings.
“Your committee should please go ahead with the planned investigation on the alleged lopsided recruitment in DSS to right whatever wrongs that must have been committed in the general interest of all Nigerians”, he said.
Reports from the alleged lopsided recruitment exercise carried out by DSS last month revealed wide disparity in state by state allocation of the 479 newly commissioned cadet officers.
While the Director-General of the agency, Lawal Daura, ensured that at least five cadets were recruited from each state of the federation and the FCT, the scale was heavily tipped in favour of some states in the north, regarding other extraneous considerations.
Specifically, only the minimum of five cadets stipulated per state finally entered the Service from Akwa Ibom, while a whopping 51 found their way in from Katsina State, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Director-General of the SSS, Mr. Lawal Daura.
Furthermore, the two most populous states in Nigeria, Kano and Lagos, were given 25 and seven, respectively, indicating that the recruitment was not based on the population of states.
A breakdown of the newly commissioned cadet officers on geo-political basis revealed that 165 are from the North-west, roughly four times as many as those who were picked from the South-south (42).
The figures for the other zones are: North-east 100, North-central 66, South-west 57 and South-east 44.
This means that while 331 of the newly commissioned officers are from the 19 northern states and the FCT, less than half of the total intakes were from states in the southern part of Nigeria.
Also on Thursday, the Senate ordered the Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, NLRC, Mr. Lanre Gbajabiamila to vacate his office immediately for assuming office without the required confirmation by it as stipulated by the constitution.
The upper legislative chamber said Gbajabiamila must henceforth not been seen within the vicinity of NLRC, let alone performing the duties of the director general of the commission.
This was sequel to the outcome of an investigation and confirmation that he has actually assumed office without being screened and confirmed by the legislature.
The Senate had on Wednesday directed its Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, to investigate the alleged assumption of duties by Gbajabiamila in office following his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, but without confirmation in line with the law establishing the NLRC.

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