THE National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday directed the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) to pay the three years outstanding salaries and emoluments owed Sambo Abdullahi, a whistleblower, who exposed fraudulent practices at the electricity agency.
Presiding judge, Justice Oyejoju Oyewunmi during the ruling stated that the suspension of salaries and entitlements Abdullahi was wrong and illegal.
By the ruling, NBET management is expected to pay Abdullahi all his entitlements from December 22, 2017 when he was suspended, till date.
Oyewunmi added that the refusal of the NBET management to allow him to take his mandatory annual leave was also wrong.
Abdullahi was formerly head of Internal Audit at NBET before he was suspended alongside another wistleblower, Waziri Bintube, for exposing several alleged fraudulent acts by NBET’s Managing Director, Marilyn Amobi.
Amobi has been indicted by several agencies of the government for misappropriating funds belonging to NBET.
He filed a suit at the National Industrial Court challenging the decision of the electricity agency not to pay his salaries and other entitlements on December 7, 2018. He also asked the court to restrain NBET from doing anything that will further affect his employment.
Delivering judgment, Justice Oyewunmi ordered that all his salary and emoluments should be paid with immediate effect.
She also added that the failure of NBET to pay Abdullahi’s accrued salary and other emoluments within 30 days would attract 21 per cent of the accrued salary and other emoluments per annum.
Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.