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‘NDLEA sacked me because I refused abortion’

By Inalegwu Shaibu

ABUJA—A former employee of the National Drug Law Agency, NDLEA, Mrs. Udoka Tochukwu, yesterday, accused the agency of terminating her employment on her refusal to terminate her pregnancy.

Mrs. Udoka, who appeared before the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges, yesterday, in Abuja, told the committee that the agency in 2004 recommended that she abort her pregnancy for her would-be husband, a driver with the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC,  Mr. Osondu Uzoronba.

She, however, failed to comply, saying that it was against her religion and conscience, moreso that she had put in the mandatory two years service before marriage.

She then went on to apply to the management for permission to get married in 2003. The agency did not grant her permission, but went ahead to issue a sack letter to her in 2005, citing violation of the single parent hood rules of the organisation as basis for her sack.

In tears, she said; “I was told to choose between the pregnancy, the marriage and my job. Of course, I cherish my job and the marriage, but I insisted that I have already satisfied the conditions required by the rules and there is no reason why I should not be allowed to marry the man I desire to marry.”

Chairman of the committee, Senator Omar Hambagda, described the sack as a greatest act of injustice to a Nigerian by a government institution.

Although, he said the committee would hear NDLEA’s side, he noted that it was wrong for an institution to decide who employees should fall in love with.


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