Barristers & Solicitors
Fake employment: Panel recommends whistleblower’s sacking
Folasade Yemi-Esan

A civil servant, Richard Oghenerhoro, is set to face disciplinary action for uncovering fake employment in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing in Abuja and making his finding public.

The whistleblower was found guilty of misconduct, breach of oath of secrecy, unauthorised disclosure of official information and copying of official documents, contrary to the provisions of the Public Service Rules.

The rule recommended termination of appointment or forced retirement for the offences.

This is as four other officials in the ministry are set to be re-deployed over documentation and enrolment of the officers uncovered by Oghenerhoro into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System platform.

All the recommendations were contained in the report of the investigative panel obtained by our correspondents.

The committee, headed by a senior official of the ministry, Rufus-Ebegba Immaculata, submitted its report to the office of the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.

The PUNCH reports that the committee was constituted following the receipt of Oghenerhoro’s petition dated July 22, 2020.

The petitioner had alleged that some civil servants joined the ministry with fake appointment letters.Related News

In the report, the committee noted that one of the civil servants with the fake employment letter noted that, “His uncle got the job for him and had no idea about the status of his letter; he also informed the committee that he has been receiving salary since January, 2020.”

While the committee noted that the officials with the fake employment letters should be sanctioned, it however noted that the four officials who documented the fake civil servants would be redeployed from the ministry for failing to do their work with due diligence.

The report read in part, “The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing should immediately stop further payment of salary to the officers with alleged fake letters of appointment and their names forwarded to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission for further Investigation.

“The Department of Human Resource Management should be directed to ensure that the names of the officers with alleged fake letters of appointment are immediately delisted from the nominal roll, stopped from performing any official duty and their relevant departments duly notified.

“The Deputy Director (Appointment, Promotion and Discipline) be charged with the responsibility of authenticating letters of appointment from the Federal Civil Service Commission.

“The Department of Human Resource Management should be directed to issue preliminary letters to the following officers mentioned in the petition and also redeploy them: Mr Usman Muktar – Principal Executive Officer I (IPPIS) SGL.12; Mr John Omini – Senior Administrative Officer (Appt.) SGL.10; Mr Richard Dokitri – Senior Administrative Officer (Nominal Roll) SGL. 10; and Mrs Eunice Chiobi – Senior Executive Officer (IPPIS) SGL. 09.

“The committee also recommended disciplinary action against the petitioner, Mr Richard Oghenerhoro, over his misconduct, breach of oath of secrecy, unauthorised disclosure of official information and abstraction or copying of official documents without approval as enshrined in Public Service Rules  030301 (f), 030415, 030416 and 030417 respectively.”

The PUNCH reports that PSR 030301(f) notes that civil servants who are found guilty of misconducts under the section can have their appointments terminated or be forced to retire.