Commercial Law

Covid-19: AGF cautions NDLEA over proposed recruitment

By Olalekan Awojodu

Abuja

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice , Abubakar Malami SAN has described the proposed recruitment of the National Drug Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) as ill-timed owing to the alarming wave of Covid-19 pandemic.

Malami has therefore directed the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Dayo Apata, SAN to seek advice from the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

According to the minister, there must be clarifications on the public health implications of such an exercise especially as it relates to health emergency and possibility of strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols by the 5000 applicants.

The AGF gave the explanation in a signed statement issued on Friday in Abuja by the Solicitor General of the Federation, Mr Dayo Apata, SAN.

The statement reads in part: “The National Drug Law Enforcement Agencies recruitment is ill-timed, ill-advised and inappropriate given the current and alarming wave of COVID-19 pandemic across the country.

“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation has directed that the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. 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 5000 applicants at this time of the nation’s health emergency.

” The attention of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been drawn to the fact that the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has directed a total of 5,000 candidates  to appear at the Agency’s Academy, Citadel Counter-Narcotics Nigeria, (CCNN),  Katton-Rikkos, Jos, Plateau State for the screening and documentation exercise between January 10 and 23, 2021 at 0900 hours daily.

“Its not in doubt that the exercise is long overdue and necessary for the actualization of the Agency’s mandate, however, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice notes that the timing is ill-advised and inappropriate given the current and alarming wave of COVID-19 pandemic across the country.

“In view of the foregoing, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation has directed that the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. 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 5000 applicants at this time of the nation’s health emergency,”

Consequently, Malami has therefore directed the Chairman of the NDLEA to stay further action on the matter, pending the receipt of clarification from the Presidential Task Force.

The statement added that the Chairman has been further requested to notify the applicants of the development accordingly.

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