“…. Minister of Communication is desperately pressing for the report to be quashed which partly necessitated the last travel to Las Vegas, USA by Barr. Adebayo Shittu, Dr. Pantami, Dr. Vincent, the Perm Sec. (Arch Sunny Echono) and eight others ”
These are not the best of times in Dr. Isah Ali Pantami-led National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA as the aggrieved staff of the Agency have made good their promise and sued their employer NITDA. The case which is coming up for hearing Friday, 3rd February in National Industrial Court borders on NITDA’s action which led to cancellation of appointment already given to 245 staff in November 9, 2015 after they have been interviewed and offered appointment with the Agency.
It would be recalled that the aggrieved staffs threatened a legal battle with the former Ag. Director General, Vincent Olatunji-led NITDA who unilaterally cancelled the appointment of the concerned staff without recourse to laws of the Federation.
LeadingReporters investigation revealed that despite the fact that budgetary allocations were made for the salaries of the 245 staffs in 2016 budget, the former Ag. DG diverted the money to pursue his personal bid to be confirmed as Director General of the Agency.
It would be recalled that the current DG of NITDA Dr. Isah Ali Pantami upon assumption of office vowed to investigate the case of missing N7b which was allegedly fleeced using 31 companies. A committee was set up headed by the former procurement officer of the Agency with specific mandate to investigate the alleged impunity that reigned when held sway in NITDA including diversion of funds, fleecing of the Agency’s account through frivolous spending such as unnecessary Dr. Olatunji foreign trips, botched ICT hub project after monies have been approved and released for them.
It was alleged that the former Ag. DG ran NITDA as a one man business wasting the Agency’s money watering the political ground for his godfather and the Minister of Communication Barr. Shittu Adebayo who is allegedly nurturing a governorship ambition come next General Election.
According to information at the disposal of LeadingReporters, the report was alleged to have massively indicted the former Ag. DG Dr. Olatunji who the report revealed has direct link with about 6 companies with which the monies were fleeced.
However, according to insider sources, Dr. Isah Ali Pantami is now in a cross road on whether to press ahead with involving the anti-corruption agency or to bow to pressures from Minister of Communication and other personalities both from traditional and religious institutions to quash the report.
Another source alleged the recent travel by the Minister of Communication, the DG of NITDA, the former Ag. DG, the Perm Secretary NITDA to Las Vagas, United States of America availed them ample opportunity to prevail on the new DG to ‘ground’ the report.
Meanwhile a pro-good governance advocacy group League and Partners for Good Leadership has threatened a show down with new NITDA leadership if they fail to do all that is required to bring everyone found culpable to book. The group wondered why Dr. Pantami would choose to set up an internal audit without involving the anti-corruption agencies.
Invariably, another 20 staff earlier employed by NITDA have been threatened with dismissal by the new leadership of NITDA led by Dr. Isah Ali Pantami. According to information obtained by LeadingReporters, the new management threatened to sack them because they could not persuade their colleagues to refrain from proceeding to sue the new management in the National Industrial Court over breach of employment contract.