Despite her being unqualified for the job as stipulated by the law, President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to rescind his appointment of Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim as the head of the anti-trafficking agency, NAPTIP, as the new director-general has since assumed office.
Mrs Sulaiman-Ibrahim was on December 2 appointed the head of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, also known as NAPTIP, after her predecessor, Julie Okah-Donli, was axed. But she did not assume office until December 22.
Upon her appointment, this newspaper reported how the law establishing the agency was flouted to land Mrs Sulaiman-Ibrahim the top job.
Section 8 (1) of the NAPTIP Act 2015 mandates any appointee for the position of the the director-general of the agency to be from the directorate cadre in the civil service or from an equivalent cadre in any of the nation’s law enforcement agencies.
“There shall be for the agency a Director-General who shall be from the Directorate cadre in the public service of the Federation or its equivalent in any law enforcement service and shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of the Minister,” the section reads.
The Act further stipulates that the agency must have a board, to which the director-general is the secretary, and the board must be made up of representatives of the government, all of whom must be within the directorate cadre in any of the ministries of justice, women affairs, labour and productivity, the police, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the Nigerian Immigration Service and the National Population Commission (NPC).
Mrs Sulaiman-Ibrahim’s credential does not match these requirements, and her appointment makes it the second time ever the NAPTIP law was breached while appointing the head of the agency. Mr Buhari was president both times.
A politician and businesswoman, Mrs Sulaiman-Ibrahim’s stint in public office was as a special adviser on strategic communication to the minister of state for education.
This implies that she was only a political appointee whose appointment ends with the expiration of the tenure of the current government, and, therefore, did not meet the directorate cadre prerequisite for the position she now holds.
Authorities have since kept mum about the appointment, an indication they approve of Mrs Sulaiman-Ibrahim assumption of office or are unwilling to do anything about it.
Again on Wednesday, presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu, directed all comments to the ministry of humanitarian affairs, whose spokeswoman, Halima Oyelade, declined comment.
The spokesman of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Willy Bassey, also declined comment.
Undeterred, the new appointee has since commenced work and has been seen in the public performing functions and visiting dignitaries, including her state governor in Nasarawa.
On Tuesday, she released a statement saying that NAPTIP has handed over 22 rescued children to the Kaduna State Government.
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