© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Stop victimisation of whistle-blowers, AFRICMIL charges NBET boss
THE African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) has called on the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc (NBET), Marilyn Amobi, to immediately stop the victimisation of two members of staff of the organisation who recently blew the whistle on some corrupt activities by Amobi.
The two NBET officials that were being persecuted are Sambo Abdullahi, Deputy General Manager/Head of Internal Audit, and Waziri Bintube, General Manager/Chief Finance Officer.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Chido Onumah, the Coordinator of AFRICMIL, 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.
Onumah condemned the act of persistent victimisation of officers for carrying out their duties in accordance with the rules and regulations of public service.
AFRICMIL had earlier written to Amobi, the NBET DG, stating that the two officials deserve commendation, not persecution for their honesty and integrity.
“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,” the letter dated February 12, 2019, read.
“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, therefore, wants Amobi to take immediate steps to end the ongoing victimisation of the affected officers by complying with the directives of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing that they should be recalled and their outstanding salaries and allowances paid.
The ICIR and other leak.Ng members had reported how two officials of NBET had exposed many fraudulent activities allegedly being carried out by Amobi. These include arbitrary approvals for the release of huge sums of monies to contractors that had not met their contractual agreements with the organisation.
The report was based on documents obtained by leaks.ng, a multi-media house online platform that encourages citizens to blow the whistle on suspicious or corrupt activities by government officials and agencies.
A follow-up report by The ICIR also detailed how the officials who had exposed the corrupt practices were allegedly subjected to dehumanising treatments for daring to speak out.