Joseph Akeju, a chief lecturer, in the Department of Accountancy at the Yaba College of Education (YABATECH), Lagos, has been dismissed, days before his retirement, for exposing corrupt practices at the institution.
Akeju, who has worked at YABATECH for 31 years, is due to retire on March 21, but was handed a dismissal letter by the school’s governing council.
Wading into the matter, the African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), an organisation committed to creating awareness and advancing the safety of whistle blowers, called on Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education, to intervene in the matter and ensure Akeju’s reinstatement.
According to Chido Onumah, Executive Director of AFRICMIL, Akeju had been dismissed for seven years for using his position, then as bursar, to expose corrupt practices at the college.
“Although he was recalled in 2016 after the Minister of Education gave the directive for his immediate reinstatement, Akeju, who has worked for 31 years at Yabatech, may be denied his entitlements due to the recent termination of his appointment by the college’s governing council, just a few days to his retirement,” Onumah stated.
“Mr. Akeju is due for retirement from public service on March 20, 2018, but the Chairman of the governing council, in a glaring act of desperation, perfected a scheme to deny him a dignified and honourable exit with the purported dismissal.”
Onumah described Akeju’s recent dismissal by the management of Yabatech as pure vendetta to prevent him from getting his entitlements.
“Akeju’s dismissal is vengeful, malicious and unjust, and a retaliation for Akeju’s outspokenness on the mismanagement and lack of openness and accountability perpetrated by the current governing council.”
Onumah noted that “the continuous intimidation of Nigerians who have chosen to expose corruption will not only be a setback for the anti-corruption fight, but will also make it difficult for anyone to blow the whistle”.
He urged the Minister of Education to look into Akeju’s case so that he would not be denied his entitlements as an upright retiring public servant.