Hearing of an alleged case of wrongful dismissal brought against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, by one Juliet Ibekaku, a former assistant director, Legal and Prosecution, before Justice Babatunde A. Adejumo of the National Industrial Court, NIC, continued Monday, June 29, 2015 with Ibekaku telling the court that, the Commission has the power to transfer any of its employees for better performance.
Ibekaku, while being cross-examined today by counsel to the EFCC, Mela A. Nunghe, told the court that, “I am liable to be transferred as an employee of the respondent.”
“In the course of my sojourn of service with the EFCC, I was transferred to Lagos . Before my transfer, I was seconded to ECOWAS GIABA in Senegal . I was also on secondment to British International Justice for All, J4A, programme in Abuja . I was the Acting Director, NFIU, when I was recalled and posted to the Lagos Zonal Office of EFCC in November 2013”, Ibekaku added.
Asked what she did when she got her redeployment letter to Lagos , Ibekaku told the court that, she complied with the directive of the respondent and reported as directed.
According to her, “After documentation, I reported to the Human Resource, HR office in Lagos . As a matter of fact, I did not report to the Head, Lagos Office, because the officer there was far junior to me in rank. Besides, he was the Head of Operations and not of the Legal Department where I belonged.”
Answering question on a query arising from her absence from duty which was issued to her in December, 2013, Ibekaku denied knowledge of getting any query saying, “it is against the regulation of EFCC and even the Public Service Rules for a junior staff to query a management staff via e-mail.”
“I was issued a query by a GL 12 officer who is a policeman and not a staff of EFCC. I took it to the Secretary to the Commission who happens to be a lawyer and my direct boss. He said he knew nothing about the query. So, I discountenanced it. Consequently, I got a letter of dismissal from the respondent.”
Justice Adejumo has adjourned the case to June 30, 2015 for continuation of trial.
It will be recalled that, Ibekaku and Nzekwe were dismissed by the EFCC for desertion, which is a serious offence against discipline going by the provisions of Section 43(e) (i) of the EFCC Staff Regulations which states that “Any officer who wilfully absents for twenty one (21) consecutive days shall be guilty of the offense of desertion and shall be dismissed from the Commission as a deserter.”
The duo are contesting their dismissal from the Commission which, according to them, did not follow due process. They are praying for an order of the court to reinstate them.
Media & Publicity
29th June, 2015
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