Man ‘fights’ ill-treatment, illegal sack from NCDMB, petitions SGF

Man 'fights' ill-treatment, illegal sack from NCDMB, petitions SGF

Mr IK Joy-Uzor, a-47-year-old man, has sought probe into how he was maltreated and whimsically dismissed from the employment of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.

He said he served diligently at the Board since 2011 when he joined the agency until 2015 when he applied for a study leave which elapsed by February 2017. According to him, trouble started when he returned from the duly approved study leave.

He stated this during a meeting with journalists, in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, on Monday.

Pressed further to explain his current ordeal, he said certain people within the Board connived with the Executive Secretary, Engr Simbi Watobe, to ensure he was frustrated out of the system on arrival from the study leave.

He further noted the ES was appointed while he was on study leave, saying he didn’t know what his antecedents were.

He called on the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. George Akume; the National Human Rights Commission; Amnesty International; among others, to intervene.

Apparently aggrieved, the petitioner decried the spates of victimisation and ill-treatment meted towards him by the Board, adding he was upbeat his story would go a long way to “reversing the tyrannical treatment”, which according to him, had cost him a lot.

Joy-Uzor, who tendered various documents before journalists to back his claims, said, “My name is IK Joy-Uzor and I’m from Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State. The reason as I see it why I have been off payroll since I got back from a duly approved study leave on February 1st 2017 is what the Executive Secretary, Mr. Simbi K. Wabote, of NCDMB alone can answer.

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“At his request I met with him some time in March 2017 after he signed a letter to me that was unusual for a CEO of a sole entrepreneurship to sign, let alone of an organisation like NCDMB. I did what he asked me to do, and there’s an email to that effect. He didn’t hold up his own side. On May 3, 2017, which was my daughter’s first birthday, a deal was brokered by Mr. Wabote’s proxy, one Mr. Abayomi Bamidele, between HR and myself. The following day HR reneged on this arrangement and Mr. Bamidele did nothing about it.

“Towards the end of May 2017, it became clear to me that the end game was for my sack. All they were doing was looking for an excuse. Four of my colleagues visited me over Democracy Day weekend in 2017 and told me Mr. Wabote said he’ll sack me. Some officials of the Union, PENGASSAN, kept mute when the then General Manager HR told them in a meeting that I wasn’t a staff. Although I had officially reported the matter to the Union, the branch chairman refused to include my matter among the issues that were presented in an ongoing union dispute despite the severity of it. What I saw in this , was a collusion.”

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He observed that the way and manner he was treated at the time by the ES, was against the Public Service Rules.

He further decried the recklessness and impunity of the NCDMB, saying it was worrisome the ES failed to positively act on his case even when a relevant committee of the 8th National Assembly, publicly gave such directive.

“After I made further concessions, the “best” HR could do was to give me terms that were contrary to Public Service Rules in December 2017. Again, I had been alerted beforehand that it was a trap. Mr. Wabote knows his motivations for the gross abuse of power and outright turpitude he has meted on me. He alone can answer this question. Suffice it to say that a whispering campaign was brought before Mr. Denzil A. Kebtebe, who was his immediate predecessor and he didn’t pay my traducers any heed. In fact, he not only went ahead to overturn the refusal of the study leave request a colleague and I applied for, he also gave me a recommendation to Petroleum Technology Development Fund for scholarship and this was honoured by them.

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“Let me also add that I didn’t in any way know Mr. Kentebe before he came to NCDMB. So, his disposition towards me cannot be said to be due to nepotism. Perhaps he saw something in me that made him do what he did. Again it was believed that I was the reason he overturned the refusal and this was more glaring as I was the only one he recommended to PTDF.

“This matter has been inquired into by the Committee on Public Petitions of the 8th NASS. Their recommendation which was made known in a letter signed by the then Clerk to NASS and sent to both Mr. Wabote and the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation categorically stated that the position of Public Complaints Commission should be upheld.

“This position stated that I should be reinstated and paid all arrears of salaries and entitlements, and also promoted to be at par with my cohorts. The letter also recommended that I should be redeployed to Rivers State instead of Ondo State. Although years have gone by since this matter was settled, the recommendation is still good enough for me,” he added.

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