The alleged case of wrongful dismissal brought against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, by Juliet Ibekaku, a former assistant director, Legal and Prosecution, before Justice Babatunde A. Adejumo of the National Industrial Court, NIC, continued Tuesday, July 14, 2015 with the EFCC Secretary, Emmanuel Aremo, telling the court that Ibekaku consistently ignored invitations sent to her by the Appointment, Promotion and Disciplinary Committee, APDC.
Ibekaku was dismissed along with Michael Nzekwe, a prosecutor in Legal and Prosecution Department for desertion which is a serious offence against discipline going by the provisions of Section 43(e) (i) of the EFCC Staff Regulation which states that, “Any officer who willfully absents for twenty one (21) consecutive days shall be guilty of the offense of desertion and shall be dismissed from the Commission as a deserter.”
They are both challenging their dismissal claiming that it did not follow due process.
Aremo, while being led in evidence by counsel to EFCC, Mela A. Nunghe, told the court that, “letters of invitation were sent to Ibekaku for her to appear before the disciplinary committee, and also text messages, and written letters were dropped at her home address, all of which were not honoured by Ibekaku.”
He further told the court that: “I was not in the country when she was redeployed and the issue of prove of the notice of service is not my responsibility, but that of the secretariat.”
At the last sitting on June 29, 2015, Ibekaku had under cross-examination, told the court that she was indeed liable to be transferred as an employee of the EFCC.
Ibekaku, who was acting director of the Nigerian Financial and Intelligence Unit, NFIU, was re-deployed to the legal directorate in the Lagos Zonal Office on November 15, 2013, and though she reported for documentation on November 21, 2013, she later absconded and was absent from work for 81 consecutive days. She was subsequently dismissed on February 11, 2014 for desertion from duty post, contrary to Section 36 (l) (xi) of the EFCC Staff Regulation.
Justice Adejumo has adjourned the case to October 21, 2015 for the adoption of final written address.
Head, Media & Publicity
14th July, 2015