Farida Waziri in police uniform
By Saharareporters, New York
Although she was highly qualified under the regulations governing the Nigerian Police Force, she was never actually confirmed in the rank of AIG before her retirement in February 2000, on account of the absence of the Police Service Commission (PSC) at that time. That makes her substantive position that of Commissioner, not AIG.
Responding to an enquiry by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, dated 21 July 2011, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Hafiz Ringim, said that Police records confirm that Mrs. Waziri retired as a Commissioner of Police (CP).
The Centre for The Rule of Law, a non-governmental organization, had written a petition to the AGF on July 15, requesting, under the Freedom of Information (FoI) Law, to be furnished with Waziri’s rank at the time of her retirement from the police. The group, citing its “concern about the dwindling performance” of the EFCC, said it had found conflicting information about the actual rank of Mrs. Waziri at her retirement from the Police.
Confirming the position of the IGP, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mr. Parry Osayande, explained in his response to Mr. Adoke that police officers on an acting rank who are not promoted to the next substantive rank but are due to retire do so on their substantive rank, which led to Mrs. Waziri retiring as a CP.
Mrs. Waziri, an officer who served for 35 years and occupied several important positions, spent eight years as CP, where four years is the norm, which is probably why she does not appear to have taken her retirement as CP very well. She has always referred to herself as AIG, perhaps in the expectation that the Police Commission would “correct” her status. Her bio on the website of the EFCC describes her as “…retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG),” a rank to which she rose “as a result of diligence and by continuous training.”
Along with some other colleagues, Mrs. Waziri’s retirement in 2000 was never formalized, and she is therefore yet to receive her retirement pension and gratuity payments.
Her disaffection with this situation may have become even more frustrating in 2007 when she was appointed to head the EFCC, a position that Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, one of her predecessors and a man whom she trained in the police, had been fast-tracked to occupy at the level of AIG. She continued to call herself AIG, an ego problem that may lead to her downfall.
In a bailbond signed by Mrs. Waziri to retrieve the international passport of the former governor of her home state f Benue, George Akume, she signed off as "AIG" (rtd) a position she did not legitimatelyearn according to police service rules.
But Mrs. Waziri has her defenders, including Mr. Abubakar Tsav, a former Commissioner of Police in Lagos State. Speaking to the Nation newspaper, Mr. Tsav described the allegation of the Centre for The Rule of Law against Mrs. Waziri as a scheme to shield corrupt politicians from prosecution.
“All along, no one complained about Mrs. Waziri’s rank, no one complained that she was powerful and no one thought of merging the EFCC with ICPC, until a former Speaker was arraigned for high-profile corruption,” he said.
Mr. Tsav is clearly referring to the efforts of the EFCC to prosecute Mr. Dimeji Bankole, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, on various charges of official corruption.
It is not clear whether the AGF, Mr. Adoke, is somehow connected with the allegations against Mrs. Waziri. What is known is that he has dismissed the EFCC and the ICPC as being incapable of fighting corruption. Speaking during his ministerial screening by the Senate, he proposed merging both agencies as a way of getting around the problem, without saying how that would accomplish the objective.
IG's Letter To Adoke below: