The Senate has ordered the immediate reinstatement of wrongfully sacked General Manager Audit and Compliance of the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC), Mrs. Maryam Danna Mohammed.
The resolution followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Pivileges and Public Petition on a petition by Mrs. Mohammed presented to the Senate by Senator Baba Kaka Bashir Garbai (APC, Borno).
The matter was referred to the committee after Baba Garbai (Borno-APC) drew the attention of the Senate to a petition from Mrs. Mohammad against the NDPHC for wrongful termination of her appointment.
Presenting a report on Thursday, chairman of the committee, Sam Anyanwu, noted that the complainant was wrongfully dismissed according to the committee’s findings.
The petitioner had appeared before the committee in February.
Mohammed recalled that she started her career in the then National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) in 1992 as an Officer II Audit and rose through the ranks to the position of Assistant General Manager (Audit) in 2010 while in the service of the erstwhile Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
She said throughout the 24 years in service, she had never been found wanting in the discharge of her duties or involved in any form of misconduct.
Mohammed said she was shocked to receive a letter dated June 10, 2016 with Ref. No. SGF.55/S.4/52 signed by Babachir Lawal, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and purportedly approved by President Muhammadu Buhari notifying her of her disengagement from service with effect from June 10, 2016.
She said the letter also directed her to hand over to the most senior officer in her department even though her position as a General Manager (Audit and Compliance) was not appointive but a position she earned by growing through the ranks and sheer hard work as a staffer of the company.
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NDPHC, Chinedu Ugbo, told the committee that NDPHC is a private limited liability company and had the right to hire and fire and could take a decision to disengage any staff without stating any reason.
Mr Chinedu stated that on assumption of office as the MD/CEO of NDPHC, he did not meet Mrs. Mohammed and therefore, did not know the reason for her disengagement.
However, Mr. Anyanwu said the committee found out that Mrs. Mohammed’s disengagement was out of order, “because due process in accordance with the terms and conditions of employment and disengagement of officers in the company was not followed”.
The committee also reported that she was not “accused of any offence, or queried or suspended prior to her disengagement.”
“The Senate hereby mandate the NDPHC to reinstate Mrs. Maryam Danna Mohammed and pay all her entitlements because her disengagement did not follow due process”.
The recommendation was adopted by the Senate.