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Whistleblower vs.NBET: Court declines application for stay of proceedings
THE National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, has refused to grant an application for stay of proceedings in the case filed by a whistleblower, Abdullahi Sambo, against the Managing Director of Nigerian Bulk Electricity (NBET) Plc, Marilyn Amobi, and four others.
Justice Kiyersohot Damulak refused the application brought by counsel representing Amobi and NBET in the suit filed by Sambo, its former Head of Internal Audit, seeking to stop plans towards his sack and continuous victimisation. The defendants had appealed an order by the judge asking both parties to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the trial.
However, in his ruling on the matter of stay of proceedings, the judge said the motion for a stay cannot be moved orally. He, therefore, ordered counsel for the defendants, Olayinka Arasi, to make a formal application to the court.
The case was adjourned till July 15.
Sambo had initially queried alleged fraudulent moves by Amobi, reasoning that transactions made by her on behalf of the organisation violate extant circulars, financial regulations and agreements duly executed by NBET.
He queried an alleged N7.5 million payment to one Engr. Achinaya, a monthly over-invoicing of N2 billion to Olorunsogo and Omotosho Power plants and N30 million to Azinge & Azinge, Aelex law firms, and others.
Angered by the Auditor’s queries, the NBET MD called for Sambo’s redeployment to another department and allegedly ensured his salaries are withheld since December 2017.
In a bid to challenge the continuous intimidation, the embattled whistleblower had approached the industrial court who ordered that both complainant and defendant maintain the status quo until the case is finally determined.
Amobi, who was appointed the substantive head of NBET in July 2016, was also involved in a series of corrupt acts such as subversion of board approvals and infraction of procurement laws, according to documents obtained by Leaks NG