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OATUU crisis: Scribe shuns panel

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By Funmi Komolafe

The crisis rocking the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity ( OATUU), which led to the suspension of the Executive Secretary, Nigeria’s Owei Lakemfa, took a new turn, last week ,with the refusal of Lakemfa to appear before a “Fact-Finding Committee “ of the Executive.

Rather, he asked to be reinstated especially as his colleagues were not suspended .

This, he argued, will create room for fair hearing.

Before then, the immediate past Executive Secretary, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, had written to OATUU’s Executive and complained of the unfair treatment of Lakemfa.

Sunmonu, a former President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, insisted that the OATUU Executive should investigate Lakemfa’s complaints before rushing to suspend him.

Last week, Lakemfa, in a letter to the Chairman of OATUU Fact- Finding Committee, Mr. Elamin Mahomoud, in Accra, dated January 22, 2015, and titled, “ Re- invitation to appear before OATUU Fact-Finding Committee”, said, “By this, I assume that you are referring to the communiqué of the OATUU Executive Committee meeting in Accra on 29th November, 2014 which found me guilty ‘…has been the centre of many problems…’ That communiqué had said that “It is against this backdrop that the Extra-ordinary Executive Committee meeting has made a unanimous decision to immediately suspend Comrade Owei Lakemfa as OATUU Secretary General pending comprehensive investigations…

“ I am at a loss as to what “Fact-Finding” you as a sub-committee of the same Executive Committee is engaged in; should the “Fact-Finding” not have been done before the Executive Committee found me guilty? The trite in English language for your action, is putting the cart before the horse. In popular African parlance, it is called medicine after death”.


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