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Questions over jobs at Nigeria’s rights agency

Questions are now being raised over a secret recruitment of workers by Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission, Abuja contrary to the provision of the Federal Character Commission Act

Findings revealed that about 253 people were hurriedly employed a week before the Governing Council of the commission was inaugurated.

Under the amended National Human Rights Commission Act, 2010, it is the council that has the powers to authorize employment.

Section 8 (1) provides: “The Council shall have power to appoint directly, and either on transfer or on secondment from any public service in the Federation, such number of employees as may, in the opinion of the Council, be required to assist the Commission in the discharge of any of its functions under this act, and shall have power to pay to persons so employed such remuneration (including allowances) as the Council may determine.

“(2) The terms and conditions of service (including terms and conditions as to remuneration, allowances, pensions, gratuities and other benefits) of the person employed by the Commission shall be as determined by the Council from time to time.”

However, in order to undermine the provisions of the Act, over reach the council and in clear violation of the Federal Character policy, the commission led by Prof Ben Angwe, had hurriedly allocated jobs to favoured persons and issued letters of employment to cronies without even inviting them for an interview or aptitude test.

A staff of the commission said that the stuffing was done on the weekend preceding the Monday when the council was inaugurated. The council was inaugurated on Monday 26th November 2012 by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Mr. Mohamed Adoke, a senior advocate of Nigeria.

However a senior staff in the Commission told P M News that the commission obtained waiver from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, to carry out the said employment but he however could not rationalize why the said jobs were not advertised in line with government policy.

He nonetheless said that the jobs were advertised on the commission’s website.

Documents obtained from the commission revealed that no provision was made for the payment of the salaries of the illegally employed workers.

Besides, some were posted to states where the commission had no offices.

“There was no advertisement. No interview. Nigerian youths were not given the opportunity to apply for the jobs but some big men here just issued letters to their brothers and townsmen some of whom do not have the idea of what the commission does”, an aggrieved staff of the commission stated in confidence.

He explained that the commission fraudulently disguised the states of the newly employed by listing some of them under the states different from their states of origin. He cited the example of ascribing Nasarawa state to someone who comes from Benue.

He called on the governing council of the commission to as a matter of urgency re-dress the wrong by giving qualified Nigerians the opportunity to be considered for work at the commission..

One of the beneficiaries of the illegal recruitment who claimed to be a christian confirmed that he was not invited for an interview and that his letter of employment was brought to him in the house.

Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC and CEO of Portia Web Solutions. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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