HOW OGFZA TOP OFFICIALS FORGED DOCUMENTS TO INDICT WHISTLEBLOWING STAFF WHO EXPOSED CORRUPTION, AND SUSPENDED HIM: COURT SETS DATE FOR CASE IN ABUJA


By Abayomi Adeshida, Abuja

Following the recent suspension of the over two months strike action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) recently, a Wuse Zone 2 Magistrates’ Court, Abuja, has fixed July 23 for the arraignment of two staff members of the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA) for alleged forgery and falsification of documents.

In a notice served on all the parties involved, Magistrate Mabel Segun-Bello, fixed the date following the suspension of the 64-day industrial action embarked upon by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).
Although the arraignment was stalled on April 26th this year because of the strike action by the staff of the curts, the new date had been communicated to parties in the suit through hearing notices served on them by the court bailiff.

In a separate letter,the court had, on March 18th, 2021 given the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, three weeks to produce the Head of Legal Services and Secretary to OGFZA, Mr. Wasiu Sule as well as the Head of Human Resources OGFZA, Mr. Alenju Ngofa the two staff who allegedly conived to tamper with some documents for arraignment.

The court chose to give the order in a letter titled, “Reference of Direct Criminal Complaint by 1. Mr. Olufunmilayo David Omosule 2. Mr Mukhtar B. Usman AND 1. Mr. Wasiu Sule and 2. Slenju Angofa,” after counsel to the nominal complainant, Nkereuwem Akpan, informed the court that both officials of the OGFZA, who are the accused persons, had evaded service of court processes despite several attempts.

The magistrate went further to give the police commissioner the order to investigate the defendants on allegations levelled against the 1st and 2nd defendants, Sule and Ngofa respectively by the complainant Mr Olufunmilayo David Omosule.

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It can be recalled that the management of OGFZA and Omosule had been locked in a legal battle as Omosule elected to challenge the legality of his 2011 suspension before the courts.

Omosule claimed that he was eased out of office after he raised a petition against some management staff of the agency on alleged corruption.

In his prayers before the courts against the management staff of the agency, he had claimed that the defendants wilfully and maliciously distorted his records “to appear as though he does not possess any requisite qualification to be employed at OGFZA or any qualification at all to be considered for promotion.”

Omosule went further to insist that their action was tantamount to forgery and falsification of documents contrary to Section 363 and 364 of the Penal Code, which is detrimental and injurious to his person and punishable under the laws of Nigeria.

Omosule said he was laid off his duty post as the manager of its Abuja office of OGFZA via a letter dated April 18, 2011, on the grounds that he refused to comply with an earlier letter dated Dec. 3, 2010, which had directed him to present the originals of his credentials for verification.

In his response contained in the suit before the courts, he however, refuted the claim of the authority, stating that he made available to the organisation, Certified True Copies (CTCs) of his educational certificates /credentials, including GCE ‘O Level certificates and degree certificates as instructed.

He proceeded further to claim that the originals of his credentials were misplaced in untraceable circumstances as at December 2010 when he was requested to present the originals of his credentials; and that the CTCs of his certificates submitted to the agency were certified by the issuing institutions, which included West African Examination Council and the University of Ado-Ekiti, then Ondo State University, Ado-Ekiti respectively.

In his prayers before the courts, Omosule had sought the pronouncement by the court that he was still a staff of the organisation and entitled to all the rights, privileges and benefits due to him by reason of his employment.

He also prayed the court to make an order directing the defendants to reinstate him to the position of a director, on grade level 17, a position he claimed his contemporaries were currently in.

With the same breath, he has sought for the order of the court to direct OGFZA to pay all his outstanding salaries, benefits
and entitlements since the year 2011 when he was suspended from the office.

Omosule has also asked the court to award exemplary and general damages up to the sum of N50 million to him.

The notice of hearing of the case that was slated for Court 2 of the FCT High Court at Wuse Zone 2, Abuja was dated the 24th of June 2021, under the stamp and signature of the Registrar of the court

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