LAWYERS to an Assistant Director and Head of Soyabean Research Programme, National Cereals Research Institute, NCRI, Badeggi, Niger State, Dr. Mfaiga Akwaya Adagba, has petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, ICPC, over alleged ‘‘intimidation and unjust victimisation of an officer resulting from volunteering information to the ICPC’’ by the management of NCRI. A copy of the petition signed by Oluwole Oluranti (Esq), Olu- Oluwole & Co, Bida, Niger State, obtained by Nigerian Pilot reads in part: ‘’upon the departure of your commission’s operatives, our client and one Mrs. Florence Arogundade were invited by the NCRI management to appear before an Internal Management Committee, NCRI, Investigative Panel set up to investigate the circumstances leading to the visit of your commission vide letters dated April 25 with reference no A.1040/vol1/94 and Ref No. A.1113/vol.1/99. “When our client appeared before the said committee on Friday, April 29, he was shown copies of the petition written to the minister of agriculture and rural development, ICPC and EFCC on suspected improprieties going on in the NCRI…” Besides, it also contained that ‘‘members of the investigative panel admitted that the content of the petition reflects the true state of affairs in the NCRI, hence they must have been written by an internal person whom they suspected to be our client. Our client regards this as infringing on his freedom of association and speech as he is duty bound by law to report any suspected case of corrupt practices to the appropriate quarters even
though he also recognises his duty under the Civil Service Rule not to divulge official secret.’’ Based on the infringement of his rights, Adagba, according to the petition, wrote a letter protesting the conduct of the investigative committee. Meanwhile, similar petitions have been written to the secretary to the government of the federation, as well as the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari. Reacting to the allegations, National Coordinator, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, and one
time Federal Commissioner at the Nigerian National Human Rights Commission., Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said ‘‘let President Muhammadu Buhari intervene in this matter so that this civil servant isn’t made to suffer for seeking to assist government in battling the scourge of corruption and economic crime.’’ Onwubiko also stated that the allegations of leakage of the identity of the whistle blower by the ICPC to his employers who are being accused of alleged fraud amounts to a serious illegality which must not go unpunished.

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