705,352 apply for 10,000 Police jobs. How will all these be vetted?

Barely three weeks after the Police Service Commission, PSC, opened the portal for applications for 10,000 vacancies approved by the Federal Government, the commission has received 705,352 applications.

Arase

IGP Arase

At last year’s National Security Summit, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the recruitment of 10,000 policemen into the nation’s Police Force for better service.

A statement signed by the commission’s spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, said 202,427 had successfully applied for the position of Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police, ASP; 169,446 for Cadet Inspector and 333,479 as Constables.

“The commission will be recruiting 500 Cadet Asps, 500 Cadet Inspectors, 1,500 Specialist Officers and 7, 500 Constables to meet the President’s approved 10,000 new entrants into the Force,” the statement said.

Chairman of the Commission, Sir Mike Okiro, had earlier confirmed in Abuja that the process of receiving the forms had been smooth and transparent.

He explained that the commission was committed to making the recruitment a huge success, adding that the commission would continue to make the process of the recruitment transparent.

He assured the applicants of fairness and equal opportunity since the commission was only interested in recruiting for the police the best brains in the society. Okiro said he was excited with the huge interest shown by Nigerians in entering the Police Force.

The vetting process must not be used as part of an employment short listing process.Police Vetting Service provides criminal history checks and other relevant information.

The Police Regulations must check if any of their potential staff are members of organisations whose aims and objectives may contradict the duty.

Police staff are in a privileged position with regard to access to information and could be considered potentially vulnerable to corruption. Applicants should not therefore be under pressure from un-discharged debts or liabilities and should be able to manage loans and debts sensibly.

An applicant must declare on his/her application form all convictions for any past offences, formal cautions by the police (including cautions / reprimands as a juvenile, i.e. under 18 years) and any bind-overs imposed by any court.

An applicant must declare if he/she has ever been involved in any criminal investigation whether or not this led to prosecution (either of themselves or others).

Failure to disclose details should result in an application being rejected, and if appointed, may lead to dismissal.

Before recruiting anyone to work in The Nigeria Police, thorough checks must be undertaken to ascertain whether anything is known to the detriment of that applicant, his/her spouse or partner, or close relatives such as parents, in-laws, siblings or others living or associating with the applicant.

All applicants will have to complete detailed vetting forms to enable these checks to be made.

We must also check whether any close family or associates are involved in criminal activity and we should therefore search for any criminal convictions or cautions recorded against an applicant’s family.

Our lack of data bases constitute a massive weakness here. If we had a data base for citizens and for government activities, then applicants for some roles would have been required to provide fingerprints and DNA samples, which could have been used to speculatively search against local and national databases prior to appointment.

This is to ensure that applicants have not previously come to adverse police attention and are not linked to any outstanding crime scenes.

It would be interesting to see how this procedure develops, but often when I hear of partnership and trainings coming from more developed countries like the UK and Us in the area of security, my principal concern is less the kinds of weapons they can offer us or the kinds of combat skills they can give to our security forces.

I am often more concerned with what they can offer to help us in intelligence gathering, capacity building, forensics, data base development and system establishment.

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