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Crisis rocks NASS over plagiarism allegation

By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA—The National Assembly leadership has been thrown into a quandary over allegation of plagiarism made against the head of its training institute, the National Institute for Legislative Studies, NILS, Dr. Ladi Hamalai.

At the centre of the allegations against Dr. Hamalai is a senior research fellow in NILS, Dr. Ogujuiba Kanayo. Dr. Kanayo has petitioned the president of the Senate, Senator Bukola Saraki alleging victimisation from Dr. Hamalai on account of his knowledge of the charge of plagiarism made against the DG by a foreign publishing company.

Dr. Kanayo who is asking for protection from the alleged acts of victimisation supposedly waged by the DG was, however, countered by Dr. Hamalai who washed her hands over alleged malice against the petitioner. The DG has also dismissed the allegations of plagiarism against her saying that sufficient reference was made to the original author of the book in question, “ Legislators in Changing Times, an analysis of the Nigerian National Assembly” published by Goldmine and Jacobs.“

NILS is the training institute for legislators and is funded by the National Assembly and has Senator Saraki as the chairman of the governing council and Speaker of the House of Representatives as the alternate chairman.

In the petition dated February 11, 2016 obtained by Vanguard, the petitioner is asking Senator Saraki as chairman of the governing council to unearth the allegations of plagiarism levelled against the DG and also reasons for the reported wanton exit of senior staff from the institute.

“My being privy to a letter dated  June 24, 2014 by GOLDLINE & JACOBS PUBLISING (A New Jersey, USA Based Publishing Firm) bordering on allegations of plagiarism between the Director General and Director, Legislative Support Services (DLSS) unfortunately, has been my undoing. This has made me an object of constant persecution by the DG.

“You may also note that this is not the only case of plagiarism against the DG. Your further investigation would reveal more troubling matters”.

Alleging an impetuousness on the part of the DG, he further said: “Your Excellency, there would have been no reason for both Casual and Medical Leave if NILS had a staff annual leave policy. It may interest you to note, that the absence of a Leave Policy led some staff members to resign their positions. A Case in point is Mrs. Magaret Dureke (Procurement Unit) whom the DG refused an annual leave or to grant time off to attend to her sick child and also demanded her to make public, medical records of the son, which should be strictly confidential.”

“It may interest Your Excellency to note that (they) have all left the employment of the Institute because of bias, the denial of their basic rights and mistreatment of their persons. In addition, other Senior Officers who have dared speak up against tyranny and leadership style at the Institute were derided, consequently they also resigned. Historical facts further confirm that this style of leadership was a recurring decimal during the Policy and Research Project (PARP) days. Several Staff of PARP were also subjected to these dehumanizing capers.  These facts are easily verifiable”

Responding to the allegations, Dr. Dr. Hamalai through the communication adviser to the institute, Kanayo Nwajei said that attribution was made in the published work of the DG.

 

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