The Director-General of the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Ibadan, Oyo State, Prof Adepoju Olusola has unjustly dismissed Mr Abaraham Taiwo Joseph under the pretext of violation bordering on false allegations against government officials.
This comes after a story by SaharaReporters exposing how Olusola awarded fraudulent contracts without recourse to procedure and due process.
The letter of dismissal from service given to him was dated September 28, 2021, and signed by the Head, Human Resources, Akinade G.A for the Director-General of FRIN.
SaharaReporters had reported how the Director-General, FRIN, Professor Adepoju Olusola embarked on witch-hunt and victimisation of some workers of the Institute, following a story that exposed how he awarded fraudulent contracts without recourse to procedure and due process.
A source had told SaharaReporters that FRIN board members were deprived of access to information about all financial and administrative activities of the agency, including records of budgets, expenditures, contracts, appointments, and promotions undertaken under Olusola.
Weeks after the story, it was learnt that Olusola ordered the transfer of workers he described as ‘enemies’ from the headquarters of the agency in Ibadan, Oyo State to some Northern and South-Eastern states.
It was learnt, however, that Mr Joseph has also become a victim of the DG’s impunity and excesses after he was dismissed without any evidence of wrongdoing.
According to the dismissal letter, which was obtained by SaharaReporters on Wednesday, the institute claimed Mr Joseph was dismissed because of alleged insubordination and his refusal to proceed on redeployment.
It partly read, “Recall your appearances before the Staff Disciplinary Committee of the Institute in respect of your misdemeanour bordering on false claims against Government Official, refusal to proceed on redeployment and insubordination, all these are considered as serious acts of misconduct going by Chapter 3 Sections 3 and 4 of the Public Service Rule.
“Consequently, the Governing Board of the Institute, at its meeting held on 27 September, 2021, ratified the recommendation of the Committee to wit
“Dismissal from service with effect from 27 September, 2021.
“The institute wishes you well in your future endeavors.”
Some workers had been issued queries by the Director-General, who felt they were responsible for exposing him.
“He has been using the management to hunt perceived enemies. The aftermath of that publication by SaharaReporters is victimisation of staff with transfer threat.
“Sadly, the board and management haven’t brought verifiable report of an objective investigation on the alleged issues.
“Also, most of us transferred to other states have not been furnished with any allowances to aid our redeployment. When one of us called their attention to this, they issued him a query.
“The labour union has been divided and bought over on this. The DG has turned himself to god in the institute, always intimidating and threatening staff with his connection and influence in Abuja.
“Section 130105 of the public service rule maintains that transportation and resettlement allowances be made available before transfer or posting,” a source had told SaharaReporters.
SaharaReporters had also reported how Olusola illegally promoted staff members without regard for public service rules.
“The Director-General, Professor Adepoju Olusola has been found doing the following; withholding of staff deductions (Contributions of over N50,000,000) to co-operative society for the month of October 2020, as confirmed by IPPIS.
“Illegal removal or deduction from salaries of staff (This is done randomly) with no reason, explanation and move to refund (He does not listen to anyone) for same October 2020.
“Flouting of civil service rule in relation to the promotion of staff. In the year 2020, a promotion exercise was conducted, over 30%-40% of staff were denied promotion even though they passed the examination, but he claimed there was no vacancy.
“By January 2021, this year, those who got promoted received their letters and were promoted appropriately. To our amazement, by June 2021, part of those promoted and served their letters were given another promotion. We found out that they are his partners in crime in the institute.
“Imagine, someone got promoted to Grade Level 11 in January 2021 and received another promotion in June 2021 to Grade Level 13, in the space of five months.
“All efforts to have him explain this move proved abortive as he will never give room for questioning. He’s above the law and people are afraid to challenge him,” the source had said.