http://www.vanguardngr.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/whistle-blowers.jpg …As Perm Sec sends file back to FCSC’s official

By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor

ABUJA—Almost three months after the Federal Government ordered the reinstatement of a whistleblower who reported the diversion of $229,000  and N800,000 by top officials of Directorate for Technical Cooperation in Africa, DTCA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which supervises the agency, has employed delay tactics to forestall his recall.

The tactic being employed by the ministry involves sending the file of the sacked officer, Ntia Thompson, to the Federal Civil Service Commission, FCSC, which had no direct supervisory power of a parastatal such as the DTCA. The supervision of the DTCA rests with the Office of the Civil Service of the Federation.

In the exercise of that power, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, had ordered the recall of Mr. Ntia Thompson, who blew the whistle on the scam, in an April 5, 2017, memo addressed to the Permanent Secretary in the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Whistle-blowers

The directive was copied to the Acting President, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Minister of Finance, the Chairman of the EFCC and his ICPC counterpart.

Vanguard learned, last night, that based on the directive, both Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Khadijah Ibrahim, acted swiftly to get the whistleblower back to work and directed the Permanent Secretary in the ministry to recall Mr. Thompson immediately.

However, in a twist, which may anger the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, the permanent secretary in the Foreign Ministry has reportedly opted to seek the advice of the Civil Service Commission on whether Mr. Thompson should be recalled or not.

He is said to have argued that it was only the input of the FCSC that would guide him in deciding the fate of Thompson.

Incidentally, it was the same top official of the FCSC, who was a member of a kangaroo panel raised by the embattled DG of DTCA, that recommended the sack of Mr. Thompson in February this year.

Besides that, some of the panellists reportedly got their siblings into DTCA on December 30, 2016, as part of the appeasement by the DG for them to ease out Mr. Thompson.

The people employed on the New Year eve, Vanguard learned, were neither interviewed nor their posts advertised by the DTCA.

Vanguard gathered last night that the inexplicable prolongation of the recall of Mr. Thompson was to buy more time for the permanent secretary and the embattled DG of DTCA to retire quietly while the matter hangs in the balance.

The permanent secretary is due to retire  in August this year, while the embattled DG is due to leave service in September.

Meanwhile, it was learned that the EFCC, which was petitioned since April 2016 by Mr. Thompson on the looting of the huge cash by top officials of the DTCA, is yet to begin any serious probe into the scam.

It was learned that apart from inviting the sacked whistleblower once on the prompting of the HoS, no serious action had been taken to bring the suspects to book.

It was gathered that the file detailing how the huge cash was diverted by top officials of the DTCA, was only recently taken away by the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

Vanguard gathered that apart from asking those named in the petition to report to the commission, no action had been taken by the commission.

But the spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, had told one of our correspondents last month that the matter was under investigation.

Wilson declined to give any further detail of the probe.

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