Parradang exonerates self, blames Moro, others at EFCC over recruitment tragedy
THE current probe of the immediate past Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), David Parradang, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to unravel the intrigues in the recruitment tragedy that claimed the lives of more than 20 job-seekers in 2014 coupled with other allegations of financial irregularity is likely to involve more people if the statement he submitted is anything to go by.
The Guardian learnt that Parradang who was grilled on Monday by investigators at the Commission, put up concerted efforts to exonerate himself from the allegations levelled against him, especially those related to the recruitment exercise, which was “a practical demonstration of raw power and control by my supervisors”, he was quoted to have said.
According to sources, Parradang did not hide it that the then Minister of Interior, Mr. Patrick Abba-Moro and the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Board (CDFIPB), against all entreaties, refused to follow the known tradition of recruiting personnel into the service, instead resorted to new methods that were weighed down and infested with fraud, deceit, corruption and abuse of power, as the decision to recruit was taken and the contract outsourced to a company called Drexel Nigeria Limited, with whom the minister signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) without the input of the leadership of the NIS.
Parradang, according to the source, also had all the required documents to defend and justify his claims at the Commission that he was not privy or in support of defrauding the job-seekers nor was he completely alone in the scheme.
It would be recalled that when the notice for the recruitment was issued and advertisement placed in some national dailies by the board without the consent or advice from the service, the leadership of NIS protested in a letter to the board, but the complaint was ignored.
In a protest letter to the Secretary of CDFIPB Ref. No. NIS/HQ\ADM\495/T/77 dated September 9, 2013, attention to Dr. R.K. Attahiru (Director), the CG drew the attention of the board secretary to the advertisement and questioned when the decision was taken. He also pointed out a breach of the board’s act in the said advertisement and warned of the impending mistake the exercise would become if due process is not followed.
A response by the board in a letter reference No. CDFIPB/943/T/6, dated October 29, 2013, apologised and assured the NIS that lessons were learnt for the future.
According to sources at the Ministry of Interior, the board held several meetings with Tapgun presiding along with representatives of Drexel, the company that was contracted by the board to consult for the recruitment exercise. but the one of on the 5th of March 2014 to talk about plans for a “successful execution of the recruitment exercise”, was very key as it was here that the IT consultant reminded them that the contract agreement did not require them to fund the exercise which is contrary to section 2.28 of the agreement, after collecting N1000 each from the nearly 700,000 applicants.
The dilemma was reported to Abba Moro who directed that the recruitment must be carried out on March 15, 2014 willy-nilly. A meeting was summoned and it was resolved that “whatever option, fund has to be made available by Drexel Technology Nigeria limited, who collected the money from applicants.
The memo was taken to the minister but he did not accept most of the recommendations. He, however, instructed that Drexel as a consultancy did their part and it was now the responsibility of the ministry, board and NIS to ensure a hitch-free recruitment exercise.
Meanwhile, when The Guardian sought to know if an invitation has been issued to some of the board members by the anti-graft body, the Director Press and Public Affairs at the Ministry of Interior Alhaji Yusuf Isiaka, could not confirm.