Nigeria: Lottery Regulatory Commission DG Denounce Protest

The Director General of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, Lanre Gbajabiamila, has described the recent picketing of the commission’s headquarters located at the Jabi area of Abuja as illegality fighting back.

According to local reports, under the aegis of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, some commission workers had accused the management of maladministration and introducing unfriendly policies. The protesters blocked and prevented the management and staff from gaining entry into the complex building. Addressing media this past Thursday, Gbajabiamila said the real reason for the protest was the dismissal of two directors in the commission.

According to him, the commission only acted in compliance with the recommendation of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission and the Code of Conduct Bureau based on the allegations against them. The main reason for the protest as a result of the management implementation the directives of the commission’s Governing Board obtained in public service. The board, after due consideration of recommendations of a committee set up by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to investigate the allegations against two directors of the commission, directed management to implement the prescribed sanctions following the Public Service Rules.

A petition against the former Directors of Monitoring and Enforcement and Human Resources Management, Mr. Okechukwu Odunna and Mr. Robert Bolokor, respectively, had accused them of infractions on their appointment into the service as well as discrepancies in their documentation.

The allegations were investigated by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission and the Code of Conduct Bureau, where the directors made confessional statements which they confirmed before the investigating committee before which prescribed the sanctions.

“I wish to state that the commission’s management was never involved in the process of investigation of the said directors. We only acted in compliance with the directives of the Governing Board. The picketing can therefore only be described as illegality fighting back by using a few highly ignorant and misled staff of the commission hiding under the guise of the staff union membership and paying touts who by the way are not staff of the commission to carry placards.” – say Gbajabiamila.

However, it is alarming to see such an act after this same set of individuals have been found wanting by the relevant agency. They confessed to being involved in the action against the commission protocols and principles despite the agency’s report categorically stating that it was based on the recommendation by the Governing council still, some management staff were causing blockade at the NLRC office.

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