ALLEGED FRAUD, INJUSTICE: Corruption, Nepotism Rock Immigration, Ministry Of Arts And Culture

Date:

·Coalition petitions EFCC, demands sack, prosecution of Musawa, Nandap

·Request thorough, transparent investigation into allegations

·Threaten legal action if…

By David Maxwell

With the gale of regret, disappointment, apprehension and indifference that Nigerians expressed in the first year of the current administration of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu as it commemorated its one year in office is far from dissipating, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations Against Corruption and Bribery, COCSOACB, has petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC, over alleged misconduct and abuse of power by the Minister of Art, Culture and the Creative Economy, Hanatu Musawa, and the Comptroller General, Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, Kemi Nandap.

According to the petition signed by the National Spokesman, COCSOACB, Dr Oluwarotimi Ayenugana, dated May 30, and addressed to the Executive Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, Musawa allegedly allocated N290 million for street lights in her local government, therefore raising concerns about alleged misuse of public funds for personal gain.

The petition also alleged that she budgeted N3 billion for culture research and development without transparent justification or clear accountability measures, indicating fiscal irresponsibility and lack of ethical leadership, plus she allegedly got involved in a NYSC status scandal, where she was unable to provide evidence of national service and was confirmed to still be undergoing youth service, further undermining her integrity and respect for the rule of law.

Meanwhile, on the Comptroller General, NIS, Nandap, the coalition’s petition alleged that she arbitrarily reversed postings of approximately 80 NIS officers who had been trained and prepared for their roles in various Nigerian embassies abroad.

“Allegations of favoritism and nepotism, with the reversal of postings seen as an attempt to accommodate individuals who are personally loyal to Mrs. Nandap, undermining the principles of meritocracy and fairness.

“Violation of established administrative procedures, which has disrupted the career progression of the affected officers and created an atmosphere of uncertainty and discontent within the service.

“Lack of administrative competence, with her actions being described as heavy-handed and indicative of a lack of understanding of the system she is supposed to lead.

“Reports of threats and intimidation against the affected officers, in an attempt to suppress dissent and avoid accountability.”

Therefore, the Coalition demanded in the petition for the “immediate removal of Mrs. Nandap, a thorough investigation into the allegations, the restoration of the affected officers to their original postings, the implementation of fair administrative practices, and the protection of whistleblowers within the NIS.”

They also demanded immediate removal or resignation of the Minister of Art, Culture and the Creative Economy, Mrs Hannatu Musawa.

“We demand a thorough and transparent investigation into the allegations of favoritism, nepotism, and administrative malpractice against MRS KEMI NANDAP COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF NIGERIA IMMIGRATION SERVICE AND MRS. HANNATU MUSAWA, THE MINISTER OF ART, CULTURE AND THE CREATIVE ECONOMY. This investigation should be conducted by an independent body to ensure fairness and impartiality.

“We shall be proceeding to the court after 7 days of the receipt of this letter seeking justice.

“The NIS and Ministry of Art, Culture and Creative Economy should implement fair and transparent administrative practices to ensure that such issues do not recur in the future. Meritocracy and due process should be the guiding principles in all administrative decisions.

“Officers who come forward with information regarding misconduct within the NIS should be protected from retaliation. Whistleblower protections are essential for maintaining accountability and integrity within the service,” the petition further read,

The group also vowed to mobilise an advocacy march, to press home their demand for the removal of both the minister and the the CG in order to highlight the need for transparency and accountability within the NIS and the Arts and Culture ministry.

“The march will take place next week, starting from the National Assembly and proceeding to the NIGERIA IMMIGRATION SERVICE and the MINISTRY OF ART, CULTURE AND THE CREATIVE ECONOMY.

“We invite all concerned citizens, civil society organisations, and media representatives to join us in this march. Our goal is to ensure that the voices of the affected officers are heard and that justice is served,” the petition stressed.

Meanwhile, the group concluded by acknowledging the role of the NIS, “The Nigerian Immigration Service plays a crucial role in the security and diplomatic representation of our country while the Ministry of Art, Culture and Creative Economy plays a major role in the imaging of our country.

“It is imperative that this service and ministry operates with the highest standards of integrity, fairness, and competence. The actions of Mrs. Kemi Nandap and Ms Musawa have not only disrupted the lives of dedicated officers but have also brought disrepute to Nigeria.

“We, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations Against Corruption and, COCSOACB, stand united in our call for their immediate removal and for the restoration of justice and integrity within the Nigerian Immigration Service and Ministry of Art, Culture and Creative Economy,” it concluded.

Responding to this call, Ms Shuna Fakum, a public affairs analyst told our reporter: “While I am not surprised, I think we need more calls like this because Mr President might not know about his appointees who are giving his government a bad name despite his efforts. But with petitions like this, coupled with the planned peaceful protest being covered by the media extensively, he would see, hear and read about them in these media then ask questions that would make him take the necessary actions to redeem his name and that of his administration.

“Another good reason for this is that it will keep public office holders on their toes as they know that they are being watched and whatever untoward act of theirs could be exposed. In all I think this is a god one and I give kudos to COCSOACB for this move.”

“In my own candid opinion, I think it is high time President Tinubu takes a cursory look at all his appointees as a good number of them are only bringing a bad name to his administration. While some are not taking their jobs seriously and are not delivering the dividends of democracy, some others are busy involving themselves in criminal and fraudulent activities. So Mr President should look inward and carry out a reshuffle; anyone not meeting up to expectations should be booted out and those fingered in corrupt practices should be prosecuted as soon as they are relieved of their duties. That way Nigerians will begin to have a rethink about the present administration.

“I am really in support of this planned peaceful protest by the Coalition as well as the planned legal action should the accused remain in office,” another respondent, Abdulrahman Aregbe posited.

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