President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday sacked Mrs. Rosemary Chinyere Uzoma as the controller-general of the Nigeria Immigration Service. He hurriedly replaced her with Mr. Rilwan Bala Musa on acting capacity.
Musa's appointment was contained in a statement signed by the director/secretary, Civil Defence , Fire Service, Immigration and Prisons Board (CDFIPB), Dr. K.R. Attahiru, for the minister of interior/ chairman, CDFIPB, Comrade Abba Moro. Musa was, until this appointment, the most senior deputy controller of Immigration Service.
The statement signed on the minister's behalf reads thus: "I am directed to convey approval of His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for you ( Mrs. Rose Chinyere Uzoma) to proceed on your pre-retirement accumulated leave."
The statement further reads: "I am to further convey that you are to hand over the duties and responsibilities of your office on or before Wednesday, 16th January, 2013 to the most senior Deputy Comptroller-General of Immigration in the person of Rilwan Bala Musa, MNI, who will act as Comptroller General of Immigration pending the appointment of a substantive CG of Immigration.
"On behalf of the Hon. Minister of Interior and all members of the board, I wish to thank you for your service to Nigeria. The board wishes you good luck in your future endeavour."
Mrs. Uzoma, who was given the mantle of leadership of the Immigration Service on July 30, 2010 was believed to have narrowly edged out Mr. Babajide Brown , an older deputy controller of the service (DCG) in a closely fought battle for the position.
Sources close to the ousted Immigration boss told LEADERSHIP that Uzoma, who was expected to enjoy three months' terminal leave after attaining the mandatory retirement age of 60 years, had been dropped in the national interest, after she failed to execute a directive by the minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro, to immediately cancel the result of an alleged controversial and scandalous recruitment exercise.
The Abia State-born Uzoma is said to have ignored the order, which was signed by the minister, after allegations that the said exercise was characterised by nepotism, tribalism and favouritism.
The source said: "The way the directive was handled by the fired Immigration boss left much to be desired by the federal government. This is because the directive by the comrade minister was not executed.
"Something was fishy in the Immigration Service and, hence, the axe had to quickly fall on Uzoma's head in the national interest. The presidency had received numerous complaints regarding the corruption tendencies at the Service and wanted the trend to end urgently."
The unexpected sack of the second female controller-general of Immigration and the 12th in the line of headship of the service, LEADERSHIP gathered, is to serve as a deterrent to other heads of the para-military services in the Ministry of Interior.
When contacted, the public relations officer of the service, Mr. Joachim Olumba, confirmed that the CG has been asked to proceed on compulsory leave. "It is a normal practice in the service and has nothing to do with the rumoured feud between her and the minister," he said.