Saharareporters has gathered how Thomas Adedayo, the Executive Director of National Film and Video Censors Board unilaterally dismissed a Director of Licensing and Documentation, Mr. Cornel Akomaye Agi who exposed his corruption activities in running the affairs of the board.
He was sacked through a letter dated 28th March 2019 on the ground that he has violated and and breached the official oath of secrecy by leading/disclosing of official information via some documents belonging to the Board.
Also Saharareporters has obtained a letter written by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property directing the Executive Director NFVCB to proceed on immediate temporary suspension from office pending the conclusion of allegations of corruption and fraud levelled against him.
The letter which dated 22 November 2018 was addressed to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed: a directive which he ignored.
Saharareporters had reported on the 23nd July 2018 that following a petition written by the staff of the board in February 2018 accussing Adedayo of monumental fraud and illegal diversion of the properties of the board to the tune of multiple billions of naira, he was arrested and charged to court by the panel.
The letter with number SPIP/ FMoI &C /2018/ Vol 1./003 reads:
The Honourable Minister,
Federal Ministry of Information and Culture
Dear sir ,
INVESTIGATION OF ALHAJI ADEDAYO THOMAS , EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NATIONAL FILM AND VIDEO CENSORS BOARD
The Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property is carrying out investigation activities on the Executive Director National Film and Video Censors Board . This is based on a petition on allegations of fraud and financial impropriety submitted to the
The panel accordingly requests immediate temporary suspension from office of Executive Secretary pending the conclusion of the investigation . This is to avoid executive interference in the process.
On conclusion of investigations , the final findings and recommendations will be made available to your office.
It was gathered that the executive director ignored the directive and use his position to intimidate and victimised some of the whistle blowers and those who testified against him in the court.
Agim was also accused of involvement in damaging publication against the management and officials of the Board contrary to the provision of the Public Service Rules.
But in a memo written by Agim and addressed addressed to the Minister of Information said that there was no prima facie case against him .
According to him "For me to be suspended, i was never indicted of any serious case that may have led to warrant a dismissal, no investigation ever carried out, no inquiry, nor appearance before the Federal Civil Service Commission, no letter to me pointing out my misdeed, no minutes indicating the outcome of the committees on my case made known to me etc, in line with PSR.
He argued that he was unjustly and illegally dismissed from service without due processes or fair hearing in line with the PSR. He noted that the governing board has no right to dismiss him from the Civil Service.
"It is clear in the NFVCB Enabling Law ACT, 1993 N40 LFN 2004 AND REGULATIONS 2008. Also THE PUBLIC SERVICE RULES, OF THE FEDERATION REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA (PSR). I therefore humbly request for a reversion " Agim demanded.
The Director stressed that he disclosed official information in responsible manner and exposed the corruption of the Executive Director Adedayo Thomas. He added that the panel found merit in the allegations levelled against him charged him to court.
He explained that the executive secretary has threatened his life on several occasions.
His words "On the 16th December 2018, I was kidnapped by some paid police agents on trump up charges and whisked to Alagbon Close Police Station Ikoyi Lagos, in fact but for providence I could have been killed.
"In line with the ED Adedayo Thomas’s determination to dismiss me from the service at all cost, the early mentioned dismissal letter was given to me on the 18th April 2019, without even allowing me to carry any of my personal effects from my office, chased me out of my office, seize my official car, deflated the tires and treated me like a common criminal in the Board’s premises in the glare of all.
"I have done no wrong to deserve this. If anything I deserve to be commended and not persecuted. So save me " Agim stated.