Some members of staff of the National Examinations Council (NECO) have cried out over their redeployment and in other cases, termination of appointments by the Chairman of the Board, Dr Abubakar Sadeeq.
The aggrieved NECO workers told SaharaReporters on Sunday that the chairman of the board of the examination body accused them of leaking his fraudulent activities to the media, saying he subsequently decided to sack and redeploy them.
SaharaReporters last October reported how a multi-billion naira corruption case was uncovered in NECO.
The case involved the award of contracts without following due process by the past management of the examination council.
Those specifically accused of involvement in the corruption saga are the immediate past Acting Registrar of NECO, Abubakar Gana, his Special Assistant, one Ibrahim Peter Alih, as well as Chairman of the Governing Board of the council, Dr Abubakar Sadeeq.
Also accused of having a hand in the matter is the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny T. Echono.
Since then, Sadeeq has been victimising some workers, pointing accusing fingers at them, some workers told SaharaReporters.
Most of the affected workers who have worked in the headquarters of the examination body in Minna, the Niger State capital and its office in Abuja, the nation’s capital, for years have now been moved to other parts of the country, outside their regions and states.
The aggrieved workers revealed to SaharaReporters that they had taken the matter to the National Industrial Court, which said the status quo should be maintained pending the determination of the case.
But according to them, the Chairman flouted the order of the court by still redeploying some of them and sacking the others.
One of the documents obtained by SaharaReporters is a circular dated November 8, 2021, and addressed to Directors, SA to Registrar/Chief Executive, PA to Registrar/Chief Executive, Zonal Coordinators, State Officers, Liaison and AU Staff.
It was signed by the Acting Director, Human Resource Management, Mrs. Gloria B. Likate.
It read, “This is to inform all Staff and the general public that the underlisted persons' appointments have been terminated from the services of the National Examinations Council (NECO) with effect from 5th November, 2021: Mr. Joakia Elogie, Mr. Ibrahim T. Musa, Mr. Eye Bassey Eyo, Mr. Ibrahim Ali, Mr. Bashir Bulangu, Mr. Arisa Agwu Arisa.
“The General Public is hereby advised not to transact any business with them on behalf of the Council, or do so at their own peril. Please, be guided.”
Sources said the Chairman has also created an administrative aberration, a parallel chain of authority with him as the uncontested boss in NECO.
“The Registrar/CEO is now merely a figurehead. His powers are appropriated by the Chairman. So he must seek approval for literally everything under operations and day-to-day administration of the council,” one of them said.
Another document obtained by SaharaReporters directed the redeployments of some workers to offices in other parts of the country. The affected workers are listed as Talle Abubakar, Udochukwu Ohuegbe, Bashir Bulangu, Joakin Elogie, Belinda Igwenyi, Ibrahim Ali, Agwu Arisa Agwu, Angela Uumefune, Fatima Suleiman and Chinedu Ejeagha.
One of the workers told SaharaReporters, “We have sent an appeal to the Minister of Education about being wrongfully redeployed. We sent a petition to the Minister of Education.”
“Then on the 8th October 2021, we went to the industrial court and there was a motion on notice and injunction asking them to maintain status quo pending the determination of the case but they went ahead to terminate our appointment,” another source said.