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FRSC Boss's Many Corrupt Deals

January 18, 2009
Osita Chidoka, the Corp Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), recently defied the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan over alleged staff discipline despite the many incidents of administrative immaturity and recklessness that is being hung on his neck.

  A senior female staffer of the Commission in charge of procurement, Dr. A. A. Nwaka, was given directive to sign a particular procurement about middle of last year. Due to the fact that the said procurement did not follow due process, she refused to sign the procurement. In anger, the Corp Marshal re-posted her and replaced her with his own loyal officer.

 He made the woman to answer query issued to her. In the fear of further reprisal, the matter got to the Vice President who intervened in the matter. Rather than honour the person or office of the Vice President, the Corp Marshal went ahead and set up a panel to try the woman. She is still facing the panel.

  Among the many 'sins' of the Corp Marshal include the fact that one Dr Charles Nzelu said to be his cousin is the main contractor of major projects which included the purchase of over 500, 000 vehicle tyres of different types in December 2008.

 He is alleged to have been awarding contracts without following the Public Procurement Bureau processes. He fully paid for the procurement of three tow trucks which as at the time of going to press is yet to be supplied as against the civil service rules which requires graduated payment of such procurement.

 Staffers of the Commission are so disillusioned and discipline is at it’s lowest ebb. A particular case of petition written against the Corp Marshal listed how he promoted one Uba Hassan from the bottom of the rank of Assistant Marshal to Deputy, which ordinarily is wrong. He did this in deference to Hassan’s seniors. Hassan, who is due for retirement three months ago is kept in service due to his ‘loyalty’ to Chidoka.

 Sources within the Commission cried aloud how the Corp Marshal would have proceeded on his annual leave during the most critical period of the ember months. His trip to America and Canada was against the unwritten rule in the Commission which states that no staff goes on leave during the 'ember' months. As at when we went to press he is yet to resume from leave.

 According to insiders in the Commission while over 596 accidents claimed more than 4,000 of Nigerian lives involving another 2,741 injured persons the Corp Marshal went to Canada and America to enjoy his annual leave. On RS 9 in October 2008 alone, 71 people died.

The challenges of running the Commission are definitely beyond him. Personal sentiment and vendetta are the tools with which he exposes his despondency and desperacy. He is more of a task master the way he has been suspending, harassing and making officers face one disciplinary panel or thee other.

Petitions already written against him allege high level financial malfeasance. He was alleged to have paid a Special Assistant ,J. A. Adegbepa, N5.4m as two years rent allowance. The female special assistant’s employment is not in tandem with the Commission’s scheme. A very ridiculous amount was spent to flush the toilets of the Commission at the zone 7 Abuja headquarters.

He is known to have used Touchy Consultants to run and manage contracts in the Commission. Today, fear, mutual distrust and hatred is the air we breathe in the Commission. Nobody in his right sense dares tell him professionally that certain of his decisions are wrong and anti-establishment.

Since he was appointed towards the twilight of the Obasanjo administration in 2008, Chidoka has travelled abroad about 20 times. Accountability and transparency are aliens in the management of the Commission. Our allocation from government has been jerked up so much that the problems in the Commission should be history but the problems seems to be mounting.

Staffers of the Commission reel with ease two particular houses he bought within the heart of Abuja around Utako worth about N200m, including the one he bought for his parents in the Ikeja part of Lagos. Questions being asked include that why has government been so tolerant of these corrupt tendencies without investigating the veracities of these charges despite the hordes of petitions against him. Yet, he prods anyone who bothers to hear him that he is neither afraid of the EFCC and the ICPC because “we are in government”.

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