LOTTERY COMMISSION WORKERS FIGHT DG, GBAJABIAMILA OVER HIGHHANDEDNESS, EVEN AS EFCC INVESTIGATES HIM OVER 2.8BIL NAIRA FRAUD

Workers of National Lottery Commission have commenced indefinite protest in Abuja over sundry issues, including what is seen as the summarily dismissal of two directors of the commission by its management.

The workers in a protest that started yesterday at the head officer of the commission in Abuja accused its director-general, Mr Lanre Gbajabiamila of highhandedness, impunity and victimization of perceived enemies of the DG and his cabinet. The union called on the authorities to investigate the many illegalities happening in the commission.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is currently investigating misappropriation of funds by the management of the lottery commission and some staff to the tune of N2.8 billion.

The two level17 officials dismissed from service are: director human resource management, Robert Blessing Bolokor and director monitoring and enforcement department,  Okechukwu Oduna. Both directors were relieved of their jobs over allegation of breach of employment rules. The letter states that the decision was taken in line with recommendations of the committee constituted by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the federation levelled against them by the Code of Conduct Bureau.

The letter that was obtained by our correspondent reads in part: “This allegation contravenes the Public Service Rules (PSR) 030402 (a & w) which is a serious misconduct and shall attract appropriate disciplinary action which include dismissal from service. Consequent upon this, you are hereby dismissed from the Federal Public Service with immediate effect.”

The union stated that the said committee that recormmended the dismissal of the directors was a charade that should be nullified, saying it undermined due process. “As far as we are concerned, there was no process. Because the process as spelt out in the public service was not followed. These directors were not issued queries or asked to make any statement in response to the allegations against them,” secretary of senior civil servants of Nigeria, Mrs Anastacia Iweze said in an interview with LEADERSHIP yesterday.

“The only two directors of the commission were summarily dismissed without due process. No fair hearing; due process was not followed. The DG, Lanre Gbajabiamila, connived with the board of the commission to dismiss the directors,”  she sai

Spokesman of the commission, Magnus Ikechukwu, refused to comment on the allegations when our correspondent met him in the premises of the commission during the protest. He also failed to either pick or return calls to his telephone number thereafter.

 

But Iweze said the union staff would continue the protest infinitely over the issues she said some of which have subsisted for over six years, but the management and the DG have chosen not to do anything.

 

The union said years after their staff condition allowances were approved, the Gbajabiamila-led management has refused to pay their due. As it stands, the staffers do not know what’s their due, while the management do whatever they like without recourse to due process.

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