Babatunde Fashola SAN

EIGHTEEN months after he was sacked, a whistleblower, Dr. Murtala Ibrahim of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) has been reinstated.

His reinstatement followed an intervention by the office of the Power, Works & Housing Minister Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN).

Ibrahim’s appointment as the Head of ICT Process Audit & Special Investigation Unit at the bank was terminated on May 8, 2017, for blowing the whistle on a contract scam and the bank’s doctored 2016 Half-Year Validation Report.

The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), a civil society organisation working on building support for the whistle-blower policy of the Federal Government, took up the matter and criticised what it called Ibrahim’s unjustifiable sack.

AFRICIMIL, according to a report by PRNigeria also pursued the reinstatement of the victim by the Federal Government.

The organisation called on Fashola to ensure the “immediate and unconditional reinstatement of Ibrahim.”

But the PRNigeria report said the victim went through mush ordeal in the last one and a half years.

The report said: “Ibrahim was first transferred from FMBN’s headquarters in Abuja, to a branch in one of the states. It was followed up with a query which cautioned him for doing his official work.

“When Ibrahim’s explanation couldn’t be faulted, the bank went on to dismiss him for the ridiculous reason that his service was no longer needed.

“But following a report by the International Centre for Investigative Report (ICIR) in October last year, Fashola’s gave a directive, following a committee’s investigation into the case, that Ibrahim be reinstated.

“The directive was flagrantly disobeyed by FMBN’s authorities.”

The flouting of the minister’s directive drew the ire of AFRICMIL and its coordinator, Mr. Chidi Onumah, who described the bank’s refusal to obey Fashola’s order as “unfortunate and an act of gross insubordination.”

He said the bank’s attitude constituted “serious threat not only to the successful implementation of the whistleblower policy, but it also endangers the anti-corruption campaign of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.”

Ibrahim, however, on Tuesday, confirmed to PRNigeria via a telephone chat that he has been reinstated.

He claimed to have received a letter to that effect.

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