They told FIJ that they were recruited between 2020 and 2021 to serve in various commands across the country and reported for duty.
They were never paid, and some of them never registered with the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the FIJ learned.
Michael Agbo, chief of civilian staff, told FIJ that he and several others had been owed salaries for more than a year and were fired without compensation in August 2022.
Speaking to the IJF, Agbo said: “The recruitment exercise was made public and we applied. Some of us received our appointment letters in late 2020, while others were recruited in early 2021.
“They asked us to report to various commands they sent us to, and we did. Each of us received signals to inform different commands.
“After working for a while, we started processing our salaries. We signed up for the Nigerian Police Force Pensions and were given letters of introduction by our commanders to allow us to sign up for the IPPIS scheme, but that was it. We never heard anything again about capturing for IPPIS.”
Agbo said that many experienced the same thing in various commands. The employees were not caught by IPPIS and never received wages for the work they did.
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He said they lodged complaints with their commanders but were referred to the federal police in Abuja, the capital city.
“This year, we met and wrote to the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), and they sent our complaint to the Inspector General of Police (IGP),” Agbo said. “Shortly thereafter, a signal came from Abuja ordering all commandos to sever civilian personnel who had not yet received salaries.”
Appointment letter received by one of the civilian staff
Another staff member, who asked not to be named, said she was sent to Plateau State in June 2020 and went there believing she was going to make a living.
Speaking to IJF, he said: “I thought it would last two to three months, because the people in the command told us that salaries are not paid immediately when you join.
“They said that IPPIS could take two to three months to perfect our registration, but the whole time I was with them, they never registered me and I never received a penny.
“I always borrowed and told people that I would pay them when my salary came, but now there is no salary and I have debts to pay.”
A copy of the termination letter that was made available to the FIJ reads: “Order and directives, INGENPOL orders you to terminate all civilian personnel who provide their services. [sic] that have not been captured by IPPIS. All civilian personnel attached to senior police officers, if any, will be terminated accordingly. Treat as urgent.”
The sign was dated August 8, 2022.
When contacted by the IJF, Muyiwa Adejobi, spokesperson for the Nigerian Police, he accused the indebted staff of illegally joining the commission, calling them “fake staff”.
Reacting via text message to IJF, he said: “Many of them got the job through the back door. There is a process to follow when we want to hire civilian personnel, so those who did not follow the process are fake personnel.
“If someone disconnected believes that they have a case, they can come with their documents to check them, so that we can advise them on what to do. We have not terminated any civilian personnel who were legally employed.”
Ojukwu is a reporter for the IJF, in association with Report for the World, which pairs local newsrooms with talented emerging journalists to report on occult issues around the world.