- David Mark’s wife denies knowledge of company
Mar. 17, 2014
The Paradigm has gathered reports that the recruitment into the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) which turned bloody over the weekend was outsourced to a private company, Drexel Nigeria Limited believed to be jointly owned by the wives of the Minister of Interior Abba Moro and Senate President David Mark.
A top Immigration official who spoke to a Abusidiqu, an online activist on the condition of anonymity said the whole exercise was under the control of the minister who outsourced the recruitment to his wife’s company, adding that the Nigeria Immigration Service was not directly involved in the exercise.
He said the stampede that led to the death of over 16 applicants could have been avoided if the service were directly involved as it would have been able to liaise with relevant government agencies such as the police and the civil defence corps that would have helped in crowd control and provide medical services in the event of an emergency.
While absolving the NIS of any culpability in the tragedy, the senior Immigration official said the recruitment process was completed at the instance of the private consultant. They collected the N1000 application fee charged to each applicant and handled the recruitment exercise themselves, the source said.
Drexel, the private company who got the contract for the recruitment exercise, had during the stage of the application came up with a complex registration process which required the applicants to download forms at cyber café, fill a part of it to generate a slip referred to as “Pay4me.”
It was the “Pay4me” print out that qualified applicants to pay the sum of N1, 000 to dedicated NIS accounts in designated banks all over the country.
The commercial banks that were involved in the transaction included the United Bank for Africa, UBA, Fidelity Bank Plc, Zenith Bank Plc, Diamond Bank Plc and Ecobank Transnational Plc.
On the payment of N1, 000, a teller was issued with data including candidates’ validation number, transaction number, application number and application type, among others.
The teller was again taken to cyber cafés where candidates used some of the information on it to complete the registration process and get acknowledgement slips.
Meanwhile, the minister of interior has announced plans to set up a panel of inquiry to probe the stampede which besides causing the death of over 16 applicants, including four expectant mothers, left about 700 people injured.
Announcing plans to raise the probe panel yesterday when he visited the injured victims at the National Hospital, Abuja, Moro said members would be drawn from all stakeholders.
“The committee would be set up to examine the necessary things to be done in this circumstances and it would consists of all stakeholders, including civil society, because what happened was a national tragedy and all Nigerians and Nigeria observers are interested in knowing what has happened,” he added.
He said: “It calls for some level of understanding amongst Nigerians and that our intention was to transparently conduct this exercise to ensure that we provide some level playing field for all Nigerians to get enlisted into the few slots that were available, in such a manner that if you don’t have the so-called ‘godfather’ in Nigerian parlance, you can still be selected for this exercise.
“As a parent, I would not put in place an arrangement that will lead to the death of the people. At this moment that we are talking, we are trying to look into the situation as it were to find a possible way of redressing some of the incidents that had occurred.
“Like I said yesterday, this is not a moment to apportion blame, this is a moment of national tragedy.”