…Son, daughter in-law, others allegedly employed
Barely few months after recruitment scam controversies in Bank of Agriculture, BOA, the bank management staff has reportedly employed the wife of the Son of the Legal Adviser of the bank through the back door.
A double recruitment scandal of sort, the bank, earlier accused of employed Son of the legal adviser of the bank, Mohammed Haruna Babaji, and other children of top management staff, denied outsourced any new staff outside the 324 sacked staff.But dependable staff source in the industry yesterday revealed to our correspondent that a daughter in-law of Babaji who’s Son was allegedly interviewed and secretly employed and placed on salary while in 300 level in the university, has also been engaged in Kano and currently on her induction course in Kaduna headquarters of the bank.BOA management staff led by Managing Director MD,/CEO, Alhaji Kabir Mohammed Adamu had consistently denied recruiting their children or any members of the immediate family of management staffs against of the House of Representatives Committee on Compliances’ directive that the bank should review the case of sacked 324 staffs and returned those qualified and settled those who cannot be returned before outsourcing staffs.Legal Aid Council and solicitors to Chairman of the unjustly terminated staff of the bank, Christian Agada, and 324 others, had on 2nd December 2015, petitioned the Bank management on alleged wrongful termination of the appointments of the 324 staffs.
A letter of petition addressed to the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe and made available to journalists in Kaduna, stated that “We are solicitors to Christian Agada and 324 others, and Edwin Ochigbo, hereinafter referred to as “Our clients”, and on whose behalf we write you this Letter”, reads in parts:“Our clients also informed us of the fact that the Management of the Bank went ahead to employ their children and relatives even after the report of the House Representative was communicated to the Bank.
The Legal Adviser/company Secretary Babaji Haruna advised the Management that they can go ahead to employ, that the House ruling was not binding on them. Such employments carried out includes “The Chairman of the Bank of Agriculture Adamu Aliyu employed his son Mubarak Adamu Aliyu and he was posted to Head Office IT dept, and other 40 from his relations and associates. The then Acting Managing Director Babatunde Sadig from Central Bank of Nigeria (his daughter Bilikisu Babatunde Sadig and other relations. She was posted to Ikeja Branch Office. The Executive Director Corporate services Sam Elibe employed his children Maduabuchi Obinna Elibe, Omerecha Elibe and other relations namely Jude Amaka, Ifeanyi Jude and Doris Mike. The Legal Adviser/Company Secretary employed his son Muhammed Haruna Babaji, even when he was still in the University but was employ as a graduate and posted to Head Office Audit Department.
“The Head Human Resource, Mike Owonuwa employed his daughter Tolu Mike Owonuwa while other management staff brought their children and relations.“This means that they terminated our client appointments to create vacancies for their children, relations and associates”, it statedIt added that, “Our clients also informed us of the fact that the Management of the Bank went ahead to employ their children and relatives even after the report of the of house representative was communicated to the Bank. The Legal Adviser/Secretary, Babaji Haruna advised the Management that they can go ahead andemploy, that the House ruling was not binding on them”, the legal Aid Council stated.Findings revealed that the bank, with headquarters in Kaduna, is currently being run like a family business, heavily dominated with employees who’s names, address and identities have been traced to most top management staffs of the banks, as sons, daughters, brothers and sister, uncle and cousins, family friends and relatives.According to the petition, Chairman and other top management staff of the bank, old and new, allegedly employed their son’s, daughters, brothers and Sisters, friends of their son’s, even before some of them completed their higher education and NYSC.The petition signed by Barrister Jummai Musa, Senior Legal Aid Officer, Legal Aid Council, Federal Secretariat kawo, Kaduna, stated that 324 staff of the bank who were wrongfully sacked from 2011, took the matter to Public Compliance Committee, National Assembly, where it was ruled in favour of the terminated staff.Briefing newsmen recently in Kaduna on the matter, leaders of the affected staff, Christian Agada and Ochigbo Edwin, said the management staff of the bank waked up overnight and terminated the appointment of the 324 on ground that they were redundant.Agada who stated that more other staff were later sacked, lamented that over 3 of the affected staffs have died due to frustration from problems related to lack of money to pay house rents, feeding, medical treatment among others.The Aid Council stated that it attached the evidences of the employment and subsequent induction conducted for the new employees dated 10/1/2014 as Appendix D. “Also attached is a letter from Bank of Agriculture dated 19/3/2015 to the National Assembly that they have done the review, which is not true (Appendix E).
The Legal aid council therefore called on the body to prevail against the banks management adding, “Sir, we plead with your good office to prevail on the Management of Bank of agriculture to implement the National Assembly decision as it is a fact that the Bank has not reviewed any termination as claimed.
Furthermore, the Bank has gone ahead to employ new staff in 2014/2015, thereby disregarding the directive from the National Assembly. We wish to point out that the affected staff and their families have been put untold hardship as a result of the termination of their appointments which was due to no reason at all. “This is because the whole exercise did not follow due process, saying “The committee on Public Hearing called both parties (terminated staff and BOA) together and gave fair hearing and subsequently discovered that the Management did not follow due process, as there was no approval from the Board of Directors. “When the house asked for any approval from board they presented a letter that was approved November 11, while the terminations were done on August 2011, which means the approval was for a new set of people that they wanted to terminate and not for Christians Agada and 324 others. BOA management did not deny this fact.
“No criteria were used. No list of redundant staff declared. No agreement between the Management and the Union. The entitlements captured in the termination letters were not in accordance with the Bank’s Condition of Service on pages 80-82. Also see a copy of a letter written to Mr. Agada by the Bank
about the non payment of his exit package. Pictures of some of our clients were pasted at the banks gate as if they were criminals.
“The terminations were carried out selectively as people like Mr. binugu Irmiya Haiwa, who had six years to retire, was terminated, while much older staff such as Mr C U. Ohale, Mr Ahmed Yahaya and Mrs Olufunwa, who had only one or two years to retire were left in the organization to retire normally.
“Mr Ochigbo Edwin was never indicted by a court of Law which is the only legal institution that can indict a person. Mr Ochigbo Edwin disclosed that he had worked for Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN) during his interview for employment at BOA, yet the Bank confirmed his appointment without checking out whether he had any problems at PAN until when the issue of termination came up.
“Some people were terminated based on their opposition against illegal Union dues deductions that amounted to the sum of N12 million.
“We also wish to state that this was not the first time re-organisation was done in the Bank but in those cases a list of criteria was used in which all staff were subjected to, and anybody that met those criteria will be retired and full benefits paid in line with the Bank’s Condition of Service. Sometimes redundancy will be declared and lost of such redundant staff will
be produced who will also be fully compensated in line with the Bank’s Condition of Service. In each of the cases mentioned above, no complain came from staff because due process were followed.
“In view of the above we appeal to your good office (Minister of Agriculture), to intervene and ensure that the Management of Bank of Agriculture carries out the review of our clients’ terminations as directed by the National Assembly, and re-instate them to their jobs & pay them all entitlements due please. And if during the review it is found that a person cannot be reinstated due to some reasons, then he/she should be fully compensated in line with the Bank’s Condition of Service”, the letter stated. Letters and relevant correspondences to the NASS and BOA on this matter were sent out for their information and further clarification, but were salient”, petition added.
Contacted, the MD who spoke through the Bank’s Acting Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. James Wayo, while reacting to the earlier allegations by the disengaged staffs in Kaduna, explained that the disengaged 325 employees of the bank, comprising drivers, Secretaries and auxiliaries, were from the non-core sector of the organization.
The MD said their disengagement was due to age, length of service, decline in productivity, disciplinary cases in 2011, and in accordance with due process, and collective agreement in line with the practice in the industry, the banks stated.
He further stated that the staff were laid off inline with the lay down roles, and were paid their severance allowances according to the procedure.
On alleged sale of seazed Kalama farms along Kachia road in Kaduna by the management staff and other one in Yola, as a result of inability of the owners to pay back loans obtained front the bank, as well as daughters in law employment, the head of cooperate affairs of the bank Ulo Remi, says, he need time to clarify the informations..