Monday, December 21, 2009

Top NDLEA official sacked for marrying driver

For finding love with a driver that works with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), a top female official of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Mrs. Udeoji Tochukwu Francisca has been sacked from service.

The agency in a sack letter to Mrs. Udeoji said her marriage to a driver Mr. Osondu Enwereuzor was not only embarrassing to NDLEA but a clear violation of paragraph 12.8(ii), schedule 1, part x of NDLEA regulation Act 2001.

But Senate on Thursday ordered its committee on public petitions headed by Senator Omar Hambagda to conduct full scale investigation into the circumstances surrounding the sack of the female officer.

The probe followed a recent petition sent to the Senate by the sacked NDLEA through Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia South) who told the stunned Senate on Thursday that the woman was specifically sacked by the agency for marring her heartthrob.

Mrs. Udeoji's trouble started in 2004 when she applied to the NDLEA for permission to marry her heartthrob, who was a driver with the NDDC.

Her letter was quickly referred to the NDLEA boss who in a letter signed by Assistant Commander, Mr. Ambrose Umoru ordered for a confidential report on the said driver with the NDDC.

The agency in the letter to the director of NDDC, Abuja liaison office, said the confidential report should be addressed to the commander NDLEA FCT command.

But NDLEA in a letter entitled, "notice of punishment" dated April 2006 asked Mrs. Udeoji to hand "all agency property in her possession to your state commander obtain clearance before you depart.

"Take notice that you have been found guilty of the following offence against discipline, unapproved single parent, contrary to and punishable under paragraph 12.8 of the regulation Act of 2001."

The punishment was sequel to another letter by the agency dated April 2004 in which it disapproved the request by Mrs. Udoji to marry the said driver.

The letter of disapproval was signed by Zirangey, assistant director administration and personnel.

But Abaribe in presenting the petition on the floor of the Senate last Thursday, argued that the decision to sack her was "gender discriminatory" and against her right as enshrined in chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution.

After presenting the petition on behalf of the victim, the Senate President, Senator David Mark promptly asked the committee on public petitions to commence full investigations into the circumstances and ensure that it erases the possibility of miscarriage of justice.

In her petition, Mrs. Udoji said that she was a member of Course 7ASN of the NDLEA, and was employed in the agency in May 2001.

She said she was dismissed from the NDLEA on April 13, 2006 because she got married to a man who works as a driver with the NDDC. She said her husband was investigated by the NDLEA when she gave notice of marriage and found to be clean, but that she was dismissed because she got married to somebody of a junior rank.

In the letter by the NDLEA terminating her appointment, the agency accused her of committing "unapproved single parentage," which it said is contrary to paragraphh12.8(i)schedule1, part X of NDLEA regulations 2001(as amended).

But the woman further stated in her petition that she was aware of the rule in the NDLEA which forbids senior officers from getting married to their juniors but that her husband does not work with the NDLEA.

She stated in the petition: "I did not get married to somebody in the same organisation, my husband works with NDDC while I work with NDLEA."

Daily Champion

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