Group Protests FG’s Suspension Of 7 Civil Servants, Petitions NHRC
A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Zero Tolerance for Social Immoralities Initiative (ZETSI) has expressed its displeasure over alleged injustice meted to seven staff of Rural Electrification Agency (REA) by the Federal Government.
The group in a petition written against the agency and submitted to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), headquarters in Abuja, claimed that the affected staff were unjustly suspended by REA management. The petition was signed by the group’s chairman, Ibrahim Abdulrasaq Imam and submitted to NHRC’s Executive Secretary, Anthony Okechukwu Ojukwu during a protest staged at the commission’s headquarters
The group in the petition held that the suspended workers were allegedly used to perpetrate fraud between March and June last year by REA authorities. “The road to their ordeal started last year March when the authorities transferred various sums to the tune of N1.2b from the agency’s coffers to personal bank accounts of the said staff members, including Usman Kwakwa Ahmed, who hitherto was seconded from the Accountant-General Office to REA.
“All of the affected staff are in the account department of REA. The monies were transferred in bits with less than N5 million paid into each staff member’s account at a time in order not to raise suspicions, and masked the fraud. “The fraudulent scheme was to clean out all the remaining 2022 allocation in the agency’s coffers. The narrations for the payments border on project supervisions and adjunct that have no relevant to their job.
“You would notice from the attached document that in total over N202m was paid into Asuni’s account, with N126m, N212.9m, N211.3m, N249.8m and N215.9m laundered through the bank accounts of Karaye(First Bank), Henrietta (Diamond), Titus (FirstBank), Laure (GTB) and Usman Kwakwa Ahmed (GTB & Zenith) respectively.
“Ostensibly acting on instruction from those who made the fraud possible, most of the affected staff members redirected the stolen monies to the accounts of their colleague, Usman Kwakwa Ahmed. “It became incontrovertible that those staff members were used as conduits for the fraud by the powers-that-be in REA when following the leakage of the heist to the media and the ensuing reportage, the Managing Director, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad in an attempt to exonerate himself and some of his colleagues at the top, set up a Disciplinary Committee headed by the Executive Director, Corporate Services, Mr Olaniyi Netufo,” the petition read in part.