Maryam Danna, the deposed General Manager (Audit & Compliance) in the Niger Delta Power Holding, NDPHC, was recently before the Senate Committee on Public Petition to challenge her ‘unlawful’ disengagement from the public service.
Mrs Danna, in a ten-page petition had indicted the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo and Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, for deliberately refusing to implement the reinstatement order from President Muhammadu Buhari.
In her presentation to the Senate Committee in Abuja, Mrs Danna said she is worried how the NDPHC began the process of her gratuity when the need for her reinstatement was established by President Buhari but blatantly ignored by V-P the Chef of Staff.
“My predicament started since Friday, June 10, 2016, when the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal announced the dissolution of the Executive Management of NDPHC with immediate effect on NTA Network news.
“The then SGF also directed the Managing Director of the NDPHC, James Olotu to handover to Chiedu Ugbo, who had been appointed as acting Managing Director of the company.
“He also directed all the Executive Directors of the company to handover immediately to the most senior officers in their respective departments.
“It is also instructive to point out that throughout my twenty four (24) years of service to the country, I have never been found wanting in the discharge of my duties or was involved in any form of misconduct.
“I was informed that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has in exercise of his powers as President approved my disengagement as General Manager (I herein attach copies of the letter of my disengagement signed by the former SGF for your perusal as Appendix iv).
“Surprisingly, at the time of the announcement of the dissolution of the Board of Executive Directors and my disengagement, Mr President was away on vacation to London for his first Medical Trip.
“This raises the question whether indeed it was the President that actually approved it? Following the announcement of the dissolution on NTA, I wrote a letter of appeal against my wrongful disengagement of my appointment to the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo who is also the Chairman of the NDPHC Board on the 21 June, 2016.
“In that letter, I pointed out the unlawfulness of my disengagement and appealed for my reinstatement. Up to the time of my writing to you, I have neither received an acknowledgement of my letter to the Vice-President nor has he acted on it to the best of my knowledge.
“Following my petition to President Buhari, he gladly directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to look into the matter and advise him appropriately.
“During his investigation, the Honourable Minister wrote to the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation seeking to know the actual source of the directive for my disengagement. He was later informed that it was Vice President Osinbajo that instructed my disengagement.”
“Thereafter, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice reverted to Mr President as directed after thorough investigation and recommended for my reinstatement as General Manager (Audit) in the NDPHC, which Mr. President gladly approved,” she narrated.
Mrs Danna however said that the Chief of Staff, who was supposed to convey the approval for my reinstatement to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, did not do so up to this moment.
“Regrettably, the matter is still being held up at the office of the Chief of Staff to Mr. President. This is really unfortunate.
“You may wish to know that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Honourable Minister of Justice wrote to the Chief of Staff since 25 October, 2016, conveying the approval for my reinstatement, yet he disregarded the Presidential directive for personal interest.
“This is incredibly a dereliction of duty and administrative sabotage,” she lamented.
However, under cross-examination, the Managing Director of the NDPHC, Chiedu Ugbo claimed ignorance of the circumstances that led to the disengagement of the petitioner.
He pointed out that the board had not met formally since the present government came on board in 2015.
He, however, said that the organisation would obey and comply with any directive either for her reinstatement and any other recommendation from the government.
In his own remarks, the Senate Committee Chairman, Samuel Anyanwu, observed that due process of law was jettisoned in the way and manner the petitioner was unjustly kicked out of the job.
He therefore promised to do everything possible to make sure that justice is done to remedy the unlawful sack of the petitioner from work in the interest of justice.