There is an imminent shake-up in the Nigeria Police as the Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, has empowered a special panel to investigate the entire payment system of the law enforcement agency.
This was as the IGP also directed the special committee to probe the anomalies and lapses noticed in the payment of the allowances of the police officers deployed to cover the Ondo State governorship election, held last Saturday.
It would be recalled that officers and men of the Nigeria Police who participated in the governorship election had, last Monday, protested the alleged non-payment of their allowances.
There have been several complaints of irregularities from certain quarters about delay, omission and discrepancies in the police payment system and possible foul play in the payment of allowances of police officers and men.
Consequent upon this, Saturday Tribune gathered that the IGP set up the special panel to investigate the anomalies, streamline and enhance the payment of the allowances and entitlements of police personnel deployed on adhoc duties.
The decision of Mr Idris to set up the committee was contrary to the claim in some quarters that the officers and men deployed for the conduct of the Ondo election had been paid their allowances.
The Special Investigation Panel is headed by Assistant Inspector General Ahmadu Ali who is expected to recommend professional modalities for payment of allowances, in line with government due process for subsequent payment of allowances to personnel of the police engaged in adhoc duties.
This development is said to be in consonance with the policy of IGP Idris to ensure transparency and accountability in all aspects of the Nigeria Police and in readiness for the establishment of a standard template that would be adopted for use in the conduct of subsequent elections.
Other member of the committee include a representative of the office of Police Accounts and Budget, a representative of the office of Director of Finance, a representative from the office of DIG Operations, a representative from the office of IGP Project Monitoring Unit and a member from the office of the Special Investigation Panel (SIP) to assist the chairman in conducting the investigation, while a representative of the office of police legal section will serve as the secretary.
In line with its mandate, the IGP empowered the special panel to launch a thorough investigation into the entire police payment system, including providing bank records as evidence, with a view to investigating the recent payment of allowances to personnel of the police and to determine if the money released for the payment of the allowances was utilised accordingly.
The committee was mandated to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Finance to look into the perennial and persistent problems of paying allowances and setting up standard modalities that would be adopted by the police to address the payment of allowances released by the Federal Government and meant for the conduct of subsequent elections in the country.
It is also expected to recommend appropriate disciplinary actions against erring officers and men of the Nigeria Police.
The IGP who enjoined officers and men, who were yet to receive their payment, to exercise a little more patience, said the issue was already being looked into, assuring them that no one would be cheated of his due.
He further urged anyone with useful information that could assist the panel in the course of the investigation not to hesitate in coming forward with such and assured the public that the Police Force would always strive to uphold transparency and due process in all its affairs.