The arraignment of two staff members of the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA) over allegations bordering on forgery, on Tuesday, suffered a setback due to the absence of Magistrate Emmanuel Iyanna in court.
The arrangement of the duo has been shifted twice, from March 28 and May 30, 2023, due to the absence of the Magistrate.
On Tuesday, August 8, being the new date for the arraignment of the OGFZA officials, Ruth Idowu, who appeared for the nominal complainant, Olufunmilayo David Omosule, and counsel to the defendants, were in court, but Magistrate Iyanna of the Magistrate Court sitting in Zone 6, Abuja was said to be indisposed.
It would be recalled that, the two OGFZA officials; Mr Wasiu Sule, the Head of Legal Services and Secretary to OGFZA’s Board and Mr Alenju Ngofa, who is the Human Resource Head of the organisation, who are first and second defendants, are accused of forgery and falsification of documents.
OGFZA and Omosule had been locked in legal battle over the legality or otherwise of the plaintiff’s suspension, following his petition against some management staff of the agency on alleged corruption.
Omosule had alleged that the defendants wilfully and maliciously distorted his records “to appear as though he does not possess any requisite qualification to be employed at OGFZA or any qualification at all to be considered for promotion.”
The agency had via a letter dated April 18, 2011, suspended Omosule as the manager of its Abuja office, on the grounds that he refused to comply with its letter dated December 3, 2010, which had directed him to present the originals of his credentials for verification.
Omosule, however, refuted the claim of the authority, stating that he made available to the organisation, Certified True Copies (CTCs) of his educational certificates /credentials, including GCE ‘O Level certificates and degree certificates as instructed.
He had claimed that the originals of his credentials were misplaced in untraceable circumstances as at 2010 when the request to submit them was made.
The claimant also averred that the CTCs of his certificates submitted to the agency were certified by the issuing institutions, which included West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the University of Ado-Ekiti, then Ondo State University, Ado-Ekiti respectively.
The claimant is therefore seeking a declaration that he was still a staff of the organisation and entitled to all the rights, privileges and benefits due to him by reason of his employment.
He is praying the court for an order directing the defendants to reinstate him to the position of a director, on grade level 17, a position he claimed his contemporaries were currently, as well as an order directing the agency to pay all his outstanding salaries, benefits and entitlement since 2011.
In addition, he is asking the court to order the organisation to pay him the sum of N50 million as exemplary and general damages.
READ ALSO FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE