Senate panel tackles FCC over alleged secret recruitment


Members of the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-governmental Affairs, on Monday, tackled the representatives of the Federal Character Commission over the alleged secret recruitment being done by some Federal Government agencies.

The panel, led by its chairman, Senator Danjuma La’ah, asked the Secretary of the FCC, Mohammed Tukur,  who led other management team of the commission to the Senate, to explain if he was aware of the recruitment.

Tukur and his team were in the National Assembly to defend the 2020 budget proposal of the FCC.

The senators specifically asked the FCC to explain if due process was followed in the alleged recruitment by the Federal Inland Revenue Service and other agencies.

Tukur told his hosts that his agency was aware of the alleged recruitment by some agencies and that it had started investigating the allegations.

He promised to avail the committee the necessary information regarding his findings as soon as the probe was concluded.

He also told journalists after his engagements with the Senate panel that the matter was already being investigated by his agency.

Tukur said, “Some members of the Senate committee raised the issue of the recruitment going on, particularly the one of an agency, and we said the issue is being addressed. All other issues that were brought to the attention of the commission are actually being addressed.

“Normally before any recruitment can take place,  it has to pass through four stages. There must be approval from the office of the Head of Service of the Federation and there must be budgetary approval from the budget office.

“Then you will come to the Federal Character Commission for the Character Balancing Index which will indicate the states that should be prioritised and those that should not be prioritised.

“This is because states that are under-represented in that agency that is recruiting will be addressed. It is after this had been done that you will go back to the Accountant-General who will give you the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System number platform as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“It is not a one agency affair. In some of the agencies, you don’t need to go to the office of the Accountant-General to recruit. We attend to all issues brought before us and we ensure that justice, fairness and equity are reflected in our reports.

The chairman of the Senate committee, in an interview with journalists,  also assured Nigerians that all affected agencies would be invited for questioning after investigations had been concluded.

He said, “I have gone far in the investigations and I’m doing everything possible to get facts. I will give the necessary update and information when we conclude our findings.

“You could see that my members were agitated, trying to raise their voices but I asked them to take it easy and let us get to the root of the matter.

“If we are able to prove our case beyond every reasonable doubt after our preliminary investigations, then we will start our probe by inviting the affected agencies.

”I’m aware that many Nigerians are worried and they want to know what is happening on the matter. Justice will definitely be done and we will expose all culprits.”

La’ah also vowed not to allow the alleged distribution of employment slots in the red chamber to be swept under the carpet without proper investigation.

He said, “We are working towards achieving a thorough investigation so that we will not just invite the federal agencies to explain what happen but we also want to confront them with facts at our disposal. The matter will not be swept under the carpet. We are already working on it.”