Director-General of Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Osita Aboloma, has been discovered to have commenced the victimisation of staff in the agency suspected to have spilled vital information contained in an exclusive story by SaharaReporters exposing corruption under his leadership.
Aboloma is alleged to have awarded fraudulent contracts without recourse to procedure and due process.
According to the report, he is said to have single-handedly withdrawn N2m monthly from the domiciliary account of the organisation without approval of the governing council and management board.
It was discovered that the DG in a bid to have his way, subdued and rendered all members of the council ineffective through alleged diabolical means.
He is said to have also frustrated all efforts by council members to hold statutory meetings by withholding information.
According to a source familiar with the matter, Aboloma was running the organisation like a personal estate, and denied council members access to all financial and administrative activities of the organisation including records of budgets, expenditures, contracts, appointments, promotion and discipline undertaken in the last three years.
The exclusive report also said that contracts totalling over N9bn were awarded in 2018 by Aboloma, which exceeded the figure appropriated by the National Assembly.
However, rattled by the expose on his activities, the SON boss has accused some staff of the organisation of orchestrating the publication.
A senior staff of the organisation has become the first casualty of Aboloma’s rage as the individual was suddenly transferred from the head office to Kogi State office without any reason and prior notice.
Sources within the organisation revealed that many staff have been pencilled down for similar treatment with a view to punishing those perceived to have divulged the information to SaharaReporters.
Meanwhile, the DG has been discovered to be involved in an extortion racket said to be fetching him and members of his inner caucus millions of naira daily.
Findings by SaharaReporters revealed that Aboloma shutdown 13 steel companies owned by Indians and Chinese for falling below standard specification.
He was said to have demanded N60m for each of the factories to be reopened for operation.
An inside source told our correspondent that the SON DG had a monitoring task force through which the corrupt acts are carried out.
The source said, “They levied all the companies N60m each at the beginning of the year and those that could not come up with the money were punished for their failure to do so.”
Meanwhile a civil society organisation, Citizens of Impact Foundation, in a letter addressed to Aboloma and dated February 3, 2020 under the Freedom of Information requested for information on 49 contracts awarded under him.
It was gathered that the DG refused to respond to the request as required by the law guiding the organisation.
The window of seven days for the organisation to respond to the request as provided by the FOI Act elapsed on Thursday, February 13.
The source revealed that the DG will not release such information because it would further expose his shady activities.
When contacted earlier by our correspondent over the allegations, Special Adviser to Aboloma on Media, Bola Fashina, debunked the claims and absolved his boss of any wrongdoing.
He described the allegations as baseless and unfounded.