The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has halted the recruitment of 5,000 successful candidates by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.
Malami said this in a statement by the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata (SAN), that though the recruitment was long overdue, the timing was ill-advised and inappropriate.
It said this followed the second wave of COVID-19 in the country.
A Deputy Commander of Narcotics and Principal Staff Officer, Public Affairs of the NDLEA, Jonah Achema, had on Friday directed a total of 5,000 candidates to appear at the Agency’s Academy, Citadel Counter-Narcotics Nigeria, Katton-Rikkos, Jos, Plateau State for the screening and documentation exercise between January 10 and 23, 2021 at 9am daily.
But Apata said in the statement: “In view of the foregoing, the Attorney General of the Federation has directed that the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata (SAN) to seek clarification/advice from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on the public health implications of such an exercise especially as it relates to the adequacy/possibility of strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols by 5,000 applicants at this time of the nation’s health emergency.”
The the Chairman of the NDLEA, Colonel Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd), was then asked to stay further action on the recruitment exercise pending the receipt of clarification/advice from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
Malami directed the NDLEA Chairman to notify the applicants of the development accordingly.
The Federal Government removed Abdallah on Friday as Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, having served his five-year tenure in office.
In a letter dated January 7, 2021 and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Abdallah was mandated to handover to the Secretary of the Agency on or before January 10, 2021.