By Victoria Ojeme
A Coalition of Civil Society Organisations has urged the Independent Corrupt Practises Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate alleged irregular recruitment and other corrupt practices being done by the management of National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA).
In a petition jointly signed by Comr. Suleiman Musa, Co-Convener of Civil Society Advocacy Groups for Accountability and Probity and Comr. Jonathan Owoichoechi, Executive Director Independent Public Service Watch, the groups accused the Acting Director General of the agency, Mr Abayomi Oguntunde to have perpetrated the act in connivance with the Director in charge of Administration and Finance of the agency.
The groups while describing the employment process as being contrary with the anti corruption posture of the Muhammad Buhari administration called on the relevant security agencies to investigate the activities of the Agency under its current leadership.
The groups which pride themselves with the responsibility to monitor the public service space and ensure that best practices prevail for the overall good of the nation alleged thus:
“We discovered that there has been massive secret recruitments ongoing at NABDA and in a worrisome twist, the employment letters of the newly recruited employees are being backdated by Oguntunde conniving with the Director in charge of Administration and Finance, who signs all the backdated Appointment Letters.
“This is a clear case of employment fraud in flagrant abuse of President Muhammadu Buhari’s stance against corruption, maladministration and promotion of equity for all Nigerians.
“It is clear that the said employments ongoing at NABDA were never advertised to pave way for a level playing field. Unsavoury compromises were arrived at which saw the children and wards of the highly placed securing the said employment slots while others rushed to the employment black market to pay for the job slots.
“Evidently, this is a bald faced attempt to take the public service space back to the dark era and such must be resisted by all citizens of good will”, the statement read in part.
It further alleged that another crime being committed by the acting DG is collection of bribes from Contractors as condition for paying for jobs done and undone using fictitious vouchers.