Some officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to probe and possibly sack its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (rtd) over allegations of corruption, poor welfare and stagnancy of officers over the years.
The officers also alleged that Abdallah had spent 85 per cent of its N1.728billion overhead cost in three years on “frivolous foreign trips” while no effort was made to improve the status of staff of the agency.
A communiqué issued in Lagos on Wednesday by a group, the Concerned Officers, and signed by Musa Ahmed Yusuf, threatened that the officers would not support Buhari in his second term bid unless Abdallah is replaced.
Yusuf noted that some of the officers had been stagnant in the past 14 years while Abdallah, as the Chairman of the anti-narcotics agency, had refused to promote deserving officers since he came onboard.
The group lamented that NDLEA’s salary was the least among security agencies in the country even though its officers are subject to high risk in fighting drug barons.
The body complained that in addition to Abdallah's misrepresentation of the party, officers were highly aggrieved that the President had failed in terms of swift response to complaints of oppressive rule by the chairman.
The communiqué added: “We, therefore, call on Buhari to investigate Abdallah to confirm: if truly officers have been stagnated in one rank for 14 years; if indeed, Abdallah has refused to release running cost to commanders since he assumed office; if officers are dispirited and dejected over poor welfare; if the entitlement of late officers have been utterly neglected and if Abdallah has been draining the overhead cost of the agency on unnecessary and corruption driven foreign trips.
“The agency gets an average of N48million monthly and since Abdallah took over office, over 85 per cent of N1.728billion overhead cost for three years has gone into his frivolous foreign trips.”
The officers further claimed that Abdallah's incompetence has led to rot in the NDLEA, adding that the Chairman lacks vision, interest in the job and patriotism, and also displays ineptitude.
The body insisted that allowing him to continue in office a second longer would further drive the agency into an irredeemable state of putrefaction.
The group bemoaned that it had lost more officers under Abdallah and none of them had been paid their benefits till date.
Abdallah, the group said, had shown that his appointment was an administrative error of the highest order, stressing that simple administrative promotion procedure of two weeks had taken Abdallah over three years without any headway.
“We demand an appointment of a Sole Administrator to conduct harmonisation and proper placement of officers with full payment of benefits. The director of administration and finance, Mr. Yohanna-Silas Mshelia and others wrongfully promoted like Suleiman Ningi, Special Assistant to the Chairman must be brought back to their normal rank and made to refund the balance of every financial entitlement," it said.
“Imagine Yohanna-Silas was fraudulently employed in 1994 with a Bachelor of Law degree on grade level 14 without previous work experience. This is unheard off. Besides having no knowledge of finance, he was also made a director to facilitate the questionable transfer of money into Abdallah's account for his inconsequential and illegal foreign trips."