Ex-CG denies knowledge of failed recruitment exercise

 David Paradang

David Paradang

A former Comptroller-General of Immigration Service, David Paradang who was yesterday called in as the first Prosecution Witness (PW1) in the ongoing trial of former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro told the Federal High Court that he was not carried along in the failed recruitment exercise of 2014 that resulted in death of not less than a dozens of applicants.

The witness who served between June 2013 and August 2015 during which period the incident occurred further stated that he was shocked when he saw reports in the media about the recruitment exercise by the NIS.

He said: ” In September, I was referred to a publication in one of the dailies that NIS was recruiting officers into Assistant Superintendent Cadre, Inspectorate Cadre and Assistant Inspectorate Cadre.

“I was surprised about the recruitment exercise because as a Comptroller-General, I was not aware of it.”I told the minister it would have been fair to inform the Head of the Service that he was recruiting and that in the service, we had a delegated authority to recruit from a certain cadre”.

He noted that when he enquired if that authority had been withdrawn, the first defendant told him not to worry. Paradang further told the Court that he called two board members to ask whether they were aware of any recruitment adverts for the NIS but they too said they were not aware.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba however told the prosecution counsel to be guided in his examination of the first witness.The matter has been adjourned till June 10 for Counsels in the matter to resolve issues that may likely affect the smooth prosecution of the case.

Moro was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside the former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior Anastasia Nwobia, F.O. Alayebami and Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited while Mahmood Ahmadu was said to be at large.

They were accused of defrauding 676, 675 applicants of the sum of N676, 675, 000, being the aggregate of N1000 paid by each applicant to Drexel ahead of the recruitment exercise. They however pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Having been admitted to bail, the matter was adjourned to enable parties prepare for trial but at the next adjourned date, Justice Chikere announced her withdrawal from the case for “personal reasons”.

She also promised to return the case file to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, for reassignment to another court.Consequently, the matter has been reassigned to Justice Dimgba.

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