AFRICMIL urges NBET MD/CEO to end victimization of whistleblowers
The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) has called on the MD/CEO of Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, Dr. Marilyn Amobi, to immediately stop the victimization of two whistleblowers, Sambo Abdullahi, Deputy General Manager and Head of Internal Audit, and Waziri Bintube, General Manager and Chief Finance Officer.
In a statement signed by Chido Onumah, Coordinator of AFRICMIL, the organization expressed concern over the management style of the NBET boss which has for long been overshadowed by allegations of fraud, abuse of office and harassment of both management and non-management staff. A high point of the public criticism of Dr. Amobi’s management, the statement said, “is the persistent victimization of two officers – Sambo Abdullahi and Waziri Bintube, for carrying out their duties in accordance with the rules and regulations of public service.”
“We are aware that you have stopped the salaries and other entitlements of these officers since December 2017 allegedly for offences including writing petitions and embarking on leave without approval. We are also aware that Messrs Sambo and Bintube have since been absolved of any wrongdoings after an investigation by the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing which supervises NBET. Indeed, it is on record that the Hon Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, had on more than one occasion directed you to treat these officers as NBET staff and effect the payment of their outstanding salaries and other entitlements,” AFRICMIL noted in a letter to Dr Amobi. The organization said it was disturbed that Dr. Amobi had not complied with the directive of the Ministry of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
AFRICMIL reminded the NBET boss that these officers deserve commendation and protection, and not victimization, for acting as whistleblowers in line with the anti-corruption policy of the current administration.
The organisation requested Dr Amobi to take immediate steps to end the ongoing victimization of these officers by complying with the directives of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing asking that they be recalled and their outstanding salaries and allowances paid.
The AFRICMIL statement comes on the heels of a two-part investigative report published last week on the alleged fraudulent activities at NBET under Dr. Amobi, and her victimization of whistleblowers who refused to co-operate with her in the perpetration of illegality at NBET. The report by Leaks Ng was compiled by the Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF).