The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has asked the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to protect alleged victimised whistleblowers in the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
In a petition signed by CSNAC’s national chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, the coalition urged the NHRC to use its good office to protect the human rights of the whistle blowers.
Taking its cue from the November 12, 2016, report of PremiumTimes, an online newspaper, where the recent action of Governing Council of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in the sacking of three whistle blowers who spearheaded a petition to the anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), against the Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Olusola Oyewole, was revealed. The petitioners had accused Prof. Oyewole of misappropriation of funds and abuse of office.
CSNAC said, “The report also revealed the dismissal of another 18 staff of the institution by the Council on the same allegation of whistleblowing. The decisions were reached at a meeting presided over by the chairman of the council, Engr. Adeseye Ogunlewe, on Thursday 10th of October, 2016 in Abeokuta.
“The affected whistleblowers are Lasun Somoye, Abdulsalaam Sobbor and Bimbo Bankole and all members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU. PremiumTimesng had earlier reported how, based on the staff’s petition, the vice chancellor, Prof. Oyewole and the bursar were quizzed by the EFCC. Surprisingly, while the allegations were still being investigated, the Vice-Chancellor suspended the three petitioners indefinitely.
“Consequently, the staff were dismissed; outcome from latest governing council meeting which was attended by all members of the council, except the representative of the Federal Ministry of Education.
“In reaction to the development, SSANU has written a letter titled, “Repression of Staff For Reporting Corruption Cases to EFCC’ to President Muhammadu Buhari. The union accused the university management of victimising whistle blowers rather than address the allegations raised in their petition.”
According to CSNAC, “In view of this, we hereby demand that the National Human Rights Commission use its office to protect the affected staff human rights as enshrined in the Constitution and African Charter on Human and People’s Right.”