The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, urging him to ensure the recall and reinstatement of the whistle-blowing staff members of Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH), Lagos.
The civil society asked that the minister put a stop to the victimisation of the whistle-blowers by the institution. The sacking of the staff members, according to SERAP, is in direct contravention of “Nigeria’s international human rights and anticorruption obligations and commitments, including the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.”
The whistle-blowers -Olugbenga Ibirogba; Charles Akharayi; Ayinde Bamide; Olusola Dada; Gbemisola Dada; Temilola Akinwunmi; Mopelola Ibitomi; and Adedeji Basiru- lost their jobs after “disclosures on alleged corruption and unlawful enrichment of the Rector of the Institution.”
SERAP expressed concern for the poor treatment meted out to the dismissed staff. This poor treatment does not augur well for the fight against corruption as those who have information would not come forward due to the perceived lack of protection.
“Retaliation or victimisation of whistle-blowers should not under any circumstances or anywhere be tolerated, especially under the watch of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, which has been at the forefront of the anti-corruption crusade.”
SERAP argued that the success of Nigeria’s crusade against corruption is dependent on whistleblowing. This is because it helps strengthen “democratic accountability and transparency in the country in general”.