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HURIWA Petitions President Buhari On Appointments Of Two DG's For National Productivity Centre

By Emmanuel Onwubiko
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A pro-Democracy Non-governmental organization - HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the criminal circumstances that led to the appointment by immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan in the days leading to his exit of two Director Generals for a single federal agency- the National Productivity Center which is one of the agencies attached to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity.

HURIWA said it is imperative that both the current Permanent Secretary of the Labour ministry and the immediate past Minister of Labour and Productivity are probed to determine their culpability or otherwise which occasioned this highly repugnant and morally disturbing misdeeds which depicted Nigeria in the eye of the civilized World as a criminal entity.

In the petition endorsed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the Rights group asked President Buhari not to sweep this mischief and atrocious administrative crime under the carpets of impunity but should order the Head of Service and the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation including law enforcement bodies to conduct transparent probe to determine what went wrong and who misguided the then President to have written two appointment letters in quick succession for two different Nigerians who are both qualified to occupy only but one vacant position of the office of Director General of the National Productivity Center of Nigeria.

In the petition sent to the office of President Muhammadu Buhari for the second time in a Month HURIWA stated thus: "recall that we had earlier written on behalf of our teeming members, we bring you our felicitations on your recent election and inauguration as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This second and updated letter is to once more appeal for your swift directive to the relevant governmental agencies including the Head of Service, the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the security and law enforcement authorities on the need to investigate this allegation of wrong doing by the immediate past labour and productivity minister which has further been expanded in severity by the current permanent Secretary of the Labour ministry who has further stoked more fire to the raging controversy by issuing a public letter which at best could be described as perpetuation of impunity which should be overturned immediately by your good self."

"We hereby write to draw your attention to the manifest illegality and rascality that allegedly happened at the twilight of the immediate past government specifically at the National Productivity Center, which is one of the agencies under the Federal Ministry of Labour and productivity."

Sir, we wish to state that the principal character immediate past Labour and productivity minister that may have perpetrated this illegality of appointing and superimposing a Director General through subterfuge and deception within a week of the appointment by the President conveyed in an earlier letter endorsed by the immediate past secretary to the Government of the federation to another citizen by name Dr. Faith Owabhel Robert, indeed committed an illegality that amounted to an attempt to ridicule the international image of Nigeria and this singular act has further graphically presented Nigeria as a rogue state. We pray you to reverse this illegality to prove doubting Thomas's including saboteurs that Nigeria can indeed be administered with the greatest respect to the principle of rule of law and in compliance with the constitution."

"We are writing you this letter of protest and a clarion call to order the immediate prosecutorial sanction of all the characters involved particularly the immediate past labor and productivity minister Senator Joel Ikenya in order to serve as strong deterrent and to further affirm the impression that you are a strict disciplinarian who wouldn’t condone illegality. This scandalous backyard appointment of another DG at the National Productivity Center is already generating bad blood and indeed serving as the immediate cause of the widespread bad newspaper report that as can be read from This day Newspaper of June 12th 2015 in a news report titled "TWO DGS EMERGE AT NATIONAL PRODUCTIVITY CENTER". Mr. President you will agree with us that this messy scandal is not good for our corporate image."

"As members of a pro-transparency platform, we are saddened by the reported breach of bureaucratic order as represented by the act of duplicating an appointment to the position of Director General of the National Productivity Center as allegedly carried out by the immediate past minister of labour and productivity even when information made available to us by credible and indeed independent sources goes to show that he the former minister was in the know of the earlier appointment made by the president and conveyed in a letter from the office of the secretary to the Government of the Federation."

"We were informed with documentary evidence that Dr. Faith Owabhel Robert was appointed as the Director-General, National Productivity Center, a parastatal under the Ministry of labour and productivity by the then President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR via a letter dated 15th May, 2015 with reference number SGF.6/S.11/VI/325 and signed by Anyim Pius Anyim, GCON (the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation). A photo copy of the letter is annexed herewith."

"We also learnt further that he (Dr. Robert) resumed duty in his office on 19th May, 2015 where the hand-over the office and on the same 19th May, 2015 he met with the Permanent Secretary of the Federation Ministry of Labour and Productivity (Mr. O.C. Illoh). On the same 19th May, 2015, Dr. Robert met with the Director of Productivity, Measurement and Standard just as in company of the said Permanent Secretary and the Director of Productivity, Measurement and Standard, they went to see the then Minister of Labour and Productivity (Senator Joel Danlami Ikenya) for him to be formally introduced by the permanent secretary."

"On 20th May, 2015, he the DG (as first appointed by Mr. President) was on duty in his office while on 22nd May, 2015, he had a meeting with the Head of Departments in the Centre."

"On 26th May, 2015, he had a meeting with 3 Directors and all the staff of the center. And that on the same 26th May 2015, he along with the former Director-General and two Directors (Mrs. A. Aor and Mr. Oyibo) travelled to Lagos on an official assignment to meet with the delegates of the Japanese Productivity Council to discuss on the productivity training for personnel of the center which the former Director General had made arrangement for 4 people to attend including Dr Robert in his capacity as the successor DG, the former Director General and two Directors."

"Before this trip he officially wrote a letter to the then Minister through the permanent secretary for one week leave (commencing from Monday 1st June, 2015 to Friday 5th June, 2015)."

"Shockingly while in Lagos, he watched the news on African Independent Television (AIT) that Alhaji Kashim Yunusa Akor, a director in the Center) was appointed as the new Director-General by the Minster of Labour and Productivity (Senator Joel Danlami Ikenya)."

HURIWA then stated thus: "believe that this action as allegedly carried out by the former minister of labour and productivity must not be swept under the carpets because apart from painting Nigeria in bad light internationally, it is an act of corruption which the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended) frowns strongly against. Section 15(5) of the constitution unambiguously provides that; “The state shall abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of power".

"The recent letter by the permanent secretary justifying the infamy committed by the last minister in the aforementioned matter must be investigated and the permanent secretary sanctioned for this indescribable indiscretion".

HURIWA recommends thus: "While urging your good self and offices to remedy this damage done to the public image of Nigeria by the erstwhile labour and productivity minister, we pray you to instruct the office of the Federal Attorney General to investigate these allegations with a view to using the constitutionally guaranteed prosecutorial powers to obtain judicial sanctions for the characters involved. Enough of this impunity."