COVID-19: Malami orders NDLEA to halt recruitment of 5,000 personnel

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The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has asked the drug law enforcement agency, NDLEA, to halt the recruitment of 5,000 personnel.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the agency shortlisted 5,000 persons among those who applied to join it.

The shortlisted applicants were to appear at the NDLEA academy in Jos to conclude their recruitment.

However, on Friday, Mr Malami said the recruitment should be halted as such gathering could violate COVID-19 protocols.

Nigeria is currently experiencing a second wave of COVID-19 with the country recording more infections in the past month than at any other previous month.

To check the spread of the virus, the federal government has banned large gatherings and ordered the closure of nightclubs and bars, among other measures.

On the NDLEA recruitment, Mr Malami said he has asked “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.”

Read the full statement by Mr Malami’s office on the matter below.

Re: Proposed mobilisation of 5,000 candidates for screening in NDLEA in Jos

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.

READ ALSO: Recruitment: NDLEA releases list of 5,000 successful candidates

2. It is 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.

3. 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.

4. Considering the above, Malami directed the Chairman of the NDLEA to stay further action on this matter pending the receipt of clarification/advice from the Presidential Task Force.

The Chairman was further requested to notify the applicants of this development accordingly.

DAYO APATA, SAN
Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja.

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