Group Calls NBET Boss to Reinstate and End Victimization of Staff/Whistleblowers

Group Calls NBET Boss to Reinstate and End Victimization of Staff/Whistleblowers

The Coalition for Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) calls on the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, to take action with regards to the corruption allegations against the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading PLC boss, Marilyn Amobi and the alleged victimization of the whistleblowers at the NBET office.

Victimization of whistleblowers is a breach of Section 27 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011 and Chapter V of the Whistleblowers Protection Act 2014, safeguard against victimization – “The Central Government shall ensure that no person or a public servant who has made a disclosure under this Act is victimised by initiation of any proceedings or otherwise merely on the ground that such person or a public servant had made a disclosure or rendered assistance in inquiry under this Act”.

CWPPF condemns NBETs actions against the whistleblowers and therefore demand that NBET restore the salaries and emoluments of the affected staff members, Abdullahi Sambo and Waziri Bintube, with immediate effect and should compensate them for the emotional and psychological trauma they have experienced through the years of injustice and neglect perpetrated by the NBET boss.

The ordeal which started in 2017 after the whistleblowers raised a petition addressed to the Minister of Works, Power and Housing alleging misappropriation of funds in the agency. In a letter dated June 13, 2017, NBET management led by Amobi announced an organizational shakeup that culminated in the redeployment and demotion of Abdullahi Sambo from (Head) Internal Audit Unit to Project, Research and People’s Development Department on his extant salary grade level.

The allegations against the NBET boss has gone uninvestigated since the petition was raised and CWPPF calls on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to expedite action on the allegations raised by the two whistleblowers, and ensure that anyone found wanting is prosecuted.

CWPPF also calls on Nigerian Electricity and Regulatory Commission to do their duty by investigating these allegations. NERC appears to have dropped the ball by not taking appropriate actions on these allegations since it has been raised two years ago and it is past time for them to do the needful to curb corruption in the sector by investigating these allegations levelled against an institution under their control.

CWPPF advocates strongly that better laws protecting the whistleblower against blowback should be legislated so that incidences such as happened in the case of Bintube and Sambo will not be repeated and as such deter other whistleblowers. The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami should prioritise the implementation and entrenchment of the Whistleblower Protection Act.

Signed:

Coalition for Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom.

  • Premium Times Center for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ)
  • Paradigm Initiative Nigeria
  • African Centre for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)
  • International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)
  • Media Rights Agenda (MRA)
  • Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)
  • Premium Times
  • Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ)
  • Order Paper NG
  • International Press Centre (IPC)
  • Daily Trust Newspaper
  • Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC)
  • The Cable Newspaper Journalism Foundation
  • Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ)
  • Civic Media Lab
  • Sahara Reporters
  • HEDA Resources
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