Illegal Withdrawal of Appointment: Lawyer Petitions Jega

Jega 600As controversy still trails the illegal withdrawal of ‘Appointment of Offer ‘of a new staff with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a constitutional lawyer, Barrister Kassim Babatunde Odedeji has petitioned the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Professor Attairu Jega,calling for immediate reinstatement of the new staff, Mr Sefiu Kehinde Ayanbimpe .
Barrister Odedeji in the petition on behalf of Ayanbimpe dated 1st of July, 2013 and entitled “Re: Withdrawal of Offer of Appointment of Ayanbimpe, Sefiu Kehinde:Request for immediate Recall to Duty”, alleged that the present predicament of Ayanbimpe was orchestrated by the Osun State Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC),Ambassador Rufus Akeju because of the encounter they had in 2011 over the N25million bribery allegation leveled against Akeju by the Osun State chapter of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties(CNPP) thereby calling for redeployment of the REC then.
The petition reads in part:” Ayanbimpe was properly screened by your commission after which he was posted to Ifedayo Local government Area of Osun State. On Thursday 7th March,2013,Our client resumed at his duty post in Oke-Ila,the headquarters of Ifedayo local government.Our client acclimatized himself with the system and he performed his duty faithfully an diligently.
“However, when our client had just settled down in the new office, his joy was cut short when he was summoned before the head of General Administration and Procurement ,Mr O.E. Ogunmola on behalf of the Osun State Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC),Ambassador Rufus Akeju on 19th of April,2013 and a photocopy letter purportedly signed by the Secretary of the Commission,Abdullahi A. Kaugama captioned “Withdrawal of offer of Appointment As Administrative Officer II” with reference no: INEC/A.024/SUB.I/V.I/017 and authenticated by Ambassador Akeju’s signature was handed over to our client.
“Our Client is a complete gentleman,apolitical,fit and proper.He has done nothing to warrant withdrawal of offer of appointment as Administrative Officer II by your Commission. overtime, he worked with several print media organizations including the LEADERSHIP Newspaper where he resigned to accept your Commission’s offer without any blemish whatsoever.”
The petition reads further that “Meanwhile, It needs to be stated herein that during our client’s year of journalism when he was working with LEADERSHIP Newspapers, he had bitter encounter with the present Osun State Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC), Ambassador Rufus Akeju on Tuesday,the 2nd of March,2011whe he(Ayanbimpe) sought for the latter’s clarification on the allegation of Twenty-Five
Million Naira (N25Million) bribery allegation leveled against him by the Osun State chapter of the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties(CNPP) before President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.Instead of giving his (AKEJU) own side of the Story to our client who was invited to his office,Ambassador Akeju gave several blows to our client in the presence of some senior officers of your Commission at Osun headquarters office.This incident was widely covered by Nigerian Newspapers while it formed the basis upon which the State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists(NUJ) suspended covering and reporting the activities of INEC in Osun State in that period.
“It is our considered view that the above incidence between our client and the Osun State REC could have been the basis for your commission’s letter of withdrawal of offer of appointment dated the 12th of April,2013,address to our client but original copy of which was received and withheld by the office of the State Electoral Commissioner(REC).
“Sir, we have studied the Constitution of the Federal Republic f Nigeria as it relates to your commission’s Staff condition f Service, we have not seen anything called ‘Withdrawal of Offer of Appointment’ there by making it doubtful whether the said letter actually emanated from the office where it purported to emanate and it is against this background that we hereby request your commission for immediate recall of our client back to his duty post so that he can continue his job unhindered with all arrears of his salary and allowance paid”.
“TAKE NOTICE however that failure of your commission to take necessary step at remedying the situation as stated above within seven days of the date hereof,our client may not be possessed of any other option than to proceed to court against your commission”, the Statement added.
A source who spoke under anonymity from the State commission’s headquarters indicated that Ayanbimpe was petitioned and accused of being a member of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the State by Ambassador Akeju to the National headquarters of the commission in Abuja where purported photocopy of the withdrawal of appointment allegedly emanated from.
‘’Instead for Ambassador Akeju to tell the commission that the journalist he had an encounter with over the allegation of N25 million bribery allegation leveled against him(Akeju) by the Osun State chapter of the Conference of Nigeria Political Party(CNPP) in March 2011, Ambassador Akeju just used his position as REC to mislead the authority of the commission and raised frivolous allegation against him(Ayanbimpe) as a way to victimize him unjustly and I see this as vengeance and it is bad that somebody of his status could use his(Akeju) position to take job of fellow human being,..’’, the source said.
While speaking with Ayanbimpe on phone to comment on development, he declined to comment on the issue but said” help me thank God that I was not accused of forgery or using fake document for my employment at the electoral commission,if it is otherwise, you should know that the man would have celebrated it beyond the shores of this land and he would ensured that I am in prison custody by now,I want Nigerians to thank God for my life”.

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