The House of Representatives, has directed the management of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) to immediately reinstate the suspended chapel Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Collins Yakubu, over the crisis trailing the indiscriminate promotion scandal in the agency.
The resolution was passed sequel to the adoption of a motion on the ‘Need to investigate reported cases of victimisation and anti-labour activities in NAN’, sponsored by the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Police Affairs, Mr Babatunde Ayeni, at plenary.
In his lead debate, Hon Ayeni who frowned at the flagrant disregard to relevant provisions of the Constitution, condemned in strong terms the level of impunity being perpetrated by some civil servants within the public service.
While stressing the need to investigate the promotions carried out by the Agency over the past five years, Mr Ayeni underscored the need for the recovery of benefits illegally accrued to the affected staff and to impose sanctions.
He revealed that certain officers in NAN have in recent times embarked on the victimisation of top Executive Members of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) who in conjunction with other affiliate Unions of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) protested against the illegal promotion in 2021 that generated so much tension in the Organisation.
According to him, the purported transfer of the NUJ Chairman (NAN Chapter) was in contravention of the provisions of Section 9 subsection 6(a) and (b) of the Nigerian Labour Act, CAP LI, 2004 and Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Adopting the motion, the House resolved that the suspended NUJ Chairman should be recalled immediately from Plateau State to the Headquarters where he has served meritoriously, pending the conclusion of the investigation.
The House also directed the NAN Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief to ensure immediate payment of all outstanding benefits to the NUJ Chairman (NAN Chapter) and ensure that he is not victimized in any way.
It also urged the relevant Committees of the house to recommend necessary sanctions for anyone found culpable, which may include declaration as unfit for managerial positions any of the officers involved in the inglorious actions, demotion, dismissal and prohibition from holding forthwith any office that may further empower them and their cohorts to frustrate human capacity development and human dignity.