In a bid to justify his reason for sacking top Labour leaders in Ogun State, the State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has stated that no worker was sacked in the state over strike action. He said their dismissal was tied to an alleged involvement in various acts of misconduct in the course of the 2016 World Teachers Day celebration.
This is contained in a statement release signed the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Adejuwon Soyinka on Tuesday, November 1, 2016.
The statement reads in full:
Our attention has been drawn to insinuations in some quarters that the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, dismissed some civil servants due to the on going strike action in the state.
For the avoidance of doubt, we will like to state unequivocally that there is no iota of truth to this speculation.
Contrary to such claims, what truly transpired is that the Ogun State Civil Service Commission, in furtherance of its statutory responsibility of maintaining discipline and adherence to public service rules and extant regulations, on Monday, took the decision to sanction some civil servants.
The affected civil servants were alleged to have been involved in certain acts of misconduct in the course of the 2016 World Teachers Day celebration on October 5, 2016 way before the ongoing strike action commenced.
In a statement issued on Monday and signed by the Ogun State Head of Service, Elder Sola Adeyemi, the State Civil Service Commission explained that it received complaints from concerned members of the public against some public and civil servants allegedly involved in various acts of misconduct in the course of the 2016 World Teachers Day celebration.
The allegations against the affected civil and public servants include the fact that, contrary to extant public service rules, they got involved in partisan politics by publicly admitting receiving money from a politician and also hiring a musician with whom they sang praises of the said politician while chanting political slogans in the course of the World Teachers Day celebration.
To determine the veracity of such complaints and give the affected civil and public servants the opportunity for fair hearing, the Civil Service Commission said it set up an administrative panel of Inquiry on October 17, 2016.
The panel’s term of reference include, among others, to investigate the events of October 5, 2016 at the NUT Multipurpose hall, Kuto, Abeokuta with a view to identifying the public and civil servants directly or indirectly involved in partisan political activities; determine the culpability or otherwise of the identified public servants and recommend appropriate disciplinary actions in line with the public service rules and extant regulations.
Before arriving at its decisions, the panel issued queries and invited the affected civil servants who in turn made written and oral representations.
After listening to all parties involved including witnesses, as well as reviewing the evidences at its disposal, the panel, in its wisdom, recommended the dismissal of 16 public and civil servants.
Those recommended for dismissal include Comrade Akeem Ambali, the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and Comrade Dare Ilekoya, the state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, NUT. They were all found to have contravened the Public Service Rules 04401, 04402 (c&d) and 04406 (a) due to their involvement in the political rally they held under the guise of World Teachers Day celebration event.
The panel also recommended the suspension of 19 others while exonerating one Mr. Abiodun Oriyomi Samuel who was said not to have been involved in the alleged partisan act.
From the foregoing, it is clear that the State Civil Service Commission only acted in fulfillment of its statutory responsibility and this has nothing to do with Governor Amosun or the ongoing strike action embarked upon by a section of the workforce in the state.
Meanwhile, some Nigerians have taken a swipe at Governor Amosun for taking that decision, tagging it as harsh and undemocratic. Some of the comments on the governor’s official Facebook page reads: