The management of National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) has been accused of carrying out massive employment without recourse to due process as well as collecting bribes as bet for payment of contracts.
In a petition jointly signed by Comr. Suleiman Musa, Co-Convener of Civil Society Advocacy Groups for Accountability and Probity and Comr. Jonathan Owoichoechi, Executive Director Independent Public Service Watch, the groups accused the Acting Director General of the agency,Mr Abayomi Oguntunde to have perpetrated the act in connivance with the Director in charge of Administration and Finance of the agency.
The groups while describing the employment process as being contrary with the anti corruption posture of the Muhammad Buhari administration called on the relevant security agencies to investigate the activities of the Agency under its current leadership.
The groups which pride themselves with the responsibility to monitor the public service space and ensure that best practices prevail for the overall good of the nation alleged thus:
“We discovered that there has been massive secret recruitments ongoing at NABDA and in a worrisome twist, the employment letters of the newly recruited employees are being backdated by Oguntunde conniving with the Director in charge of Administration and Finance, who signs all the backdated Appointment Letters.
“This is a clear case of employment fraud in flagrant abuse of President Muhammadu Buhari’s stance against corruption, maladministration and promotion of equity for all Nigerians.
“It is clear that the said employments ongoing at NABDA were never advertised to pave way for a level playing field. Unsavoury compromises were arrived at which saw the children and wards of the highly placed securing the said employment slots while others rushed to the employment black market to pay for the job slots.
“Evidently, this is a bald faced attempt to take the public service space back to the dark era and such must be resisted by all citizens of good will”, the statement read in part.
It further alleged that another crime being committed by the acting DG is collection of bribes from Contractors as condition for paying for jobs done and undone using fictitious vouchers.
“Oguntunde and the Directors are working together to steal public funds from the monthly allocations, contract funds in the magnitude of one billion naira. This attitude is a disgrace to Public Service.
“It is indeed an act of criminality and gross contravention of Public Service Rules for the employment letters of prospective employees to be backdated. And by all standards of fairness and probity this act in itself invalidates the entire process and casts irredeemable dents on the reputation of those who presided over the process whilst questioning their competence to hold prime positions of Public Service.
The groups therefore demanded that employments made under the watch of this acting Mr. Oguntunde should be invalidated and deemed as null and void due to the fact that the process was fraught with irregularities.
Similarly, it called for thoroughly investigation of the employment process by the Minister of Science and technology and other relevant anti corruption agencies such as the ICPC and EFCC in order to determine all the culprits and accomplices for the necessary punitive sanctions to be meted on them.
It further demanded the suspension of the acting Director General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency, Mr Abayomi Oguntunde, and the Director of Administration and Finance forthwith as a measure of government’s transparency while thorough investigations are being conducted.