By Stephen Ubanna
Until the tail end of Last April,Dantani Mohammed, a former Chief Superintendent of Customs, and Uche Ejesemie, a former Deputy Superintendent of Customs and Public Relations officer, Tincan Island Command were not sure of wearing new ranks in the next month being May, 2018. This is because of the news making the round in Customs circles that the Customs senior officers promotion results had been changed several times by powers that be for their own pecuniary gains. The duo and others in similar disadvantaged position like them may have kept away from calling any of their contacts at the Customs Headquarters for help because of their believe that ”promotions comes from God and not man” They may have further encouraged themselves that” God’s Time is the best”.
Their fear was further worsened when information leaked out that on only a few hundreds of senior officers out of the thousands who took the Promotion examination were recommended to the Customs Board headed by Kemi A deosun, minister of Finance by Hameed Ali, a retired and the Customs Comptroller General led Management.
Their intial fear of not getting the promotion may have been wiped out when Joseph Attah, a Deputy Comptroller Comptroller and the Customs National Public Relations officer issued a Statement the Customs during its first meeting on Thursday, May 10, 2018, has approved the promotion of because t 1,997 senior officers to various ranks.
The duo and scores of hundreds of other senior officers from the various ranks waited anxiously to cite the complete list of the approved promotion list and to go through it to check if their names were there. It was learnt that even before the document could be forwarded to the various Area Comptrollers for their attention between last Thursday and Friday, information had leaked out that the duo were among the 1,997 , promoted senior officers.
They were said to have waited patiently to get the call of Baba- Musa, the Comptroller who may have flipped through the list and to confirm that their names were on the list of the approved promoted senior officers list. A source told the Magazine that when the Comptroller went through the list he was not particular about any senior officer but knowing the number of senior officers in the Command who scaled through the promotion hurdle.
The source disclosed that that he heaved sigh of relief when he found that 114 senior officers names from the Command on the promotion list. He has no option but to reach out those of them he had their contacts because of the sensitive position occupied in the Command. Among the senior officers he was said to have reached out to were one or two of the new Deputy Comptrollers, Dantani and Ejesemie, the Command image maker to break the news of their promotion.
Insiders told the Magazine that when it became clear that the Complete promotion list had reached the Command, the senior officers who had got the privilaged information that their names were on the list started trooping to the Command Deputy Comptroller in=charge of Administration to re-confirm their names and to make assurance doubly sure. the duo of Dantani and Ejeseme were not left out as they joined others to check their names on the list.
What may have given Baba Musa, the Command Comptroller the greatest joy was the promotion of six Assistant Comptrollers from the Command to Deputy Comptrollers out of the 52 on the promotion list, across Customs Formations nation-wide , meaning that some Customs Command may not have even produced one Deputy Comptroller on the list .
Perhaps, to avoid the delay that characterised the release of the promotion after about eight months of taking the promotion examination, Ali, the Comptroller general gave the go ahead to the Customs Zonal Coordinators and the Comptrollers to decorate the newly promoted senior officers under their control with their new ranks. The Deputy Comptroller Generals of Customs were also asked to decorate the senior officers promoted in their various Departments .
true to Ali’s directive that the newly promoted senior officers should be decorated with their new ranks on Tuesday May15, 2018, the DCGs, Command Zonal Coordinators and the Comptrollers were said to have heeded to . At Tincan Island Command, the occasion was said to have turned out to a celebration for the beneficiaries.
Officers and men atatched to the Bond , headed by Dantani, as a Chief Superintendent but now an Assistant Comptroller, may have surprised him with the lavish drinks bough to entertain guests including an expensive cake that was bought at Shop Rite. At Ejesemie’s office, there was enough take away for guests including the officers who got the promotion and those who witnessed the decoration including personnel from other agencies who were there. He was able to take care of the Visitors and the officers with the support of the Comptroller.
The Magazine cited the Complete list of the senior officers approved officers for promotion last Tuesday and found out that the Comptroller General had started implementing the recommendation sent to the Minister of Finance for the Customs Board approval .
This is evident with the deployment of Deputy Comptrollers Dangladima Sambo Kalid from SR and P to Presidential Task Force on Cross Border movement, Agbara Ojobo Michael as acting Comptroller, Ogun Command Olumoh Kamaldeen as acting Comptroller, Adamawa/Taraba Command. The three Deputy Comptrollers were said to be among the 49 promoted to the Comptrollers rank this time around.
investigation by the Magazine shows that about three and one of the newly promoted Comptrollers had either died or retired before the Customs Board finally met to approve the promotion list last Thursday.
Many believe that delay in releasing the promotion list by the Customs Board may have contributed to the death of the officers through thinking.