The CiviI Society Network Against Corruption has expressed its delight that Aaron Kaase, a victim of whistleblowing, has been reinstated by the Police Service Commission.
Kaase was reinstated via a letter dated March 7, 2018 with reference number PSC/PN/173/I/195, signed by the Director of Administration/HRM at the Commission.
This final action was triggered by a National Industrial Court judgement of November 28, 2017, after almost three years of victimization, activism, advocacy, petitions and litigations for his reinstatement.
In a statement issued by CSNAC and signed by its Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, the network said it is demanding the prosecution of outgoing Chairman of the Commission, Mike Okiro.
Kaase had in May 2015 exposed several fraudulent activities in the PSC to the tune of N275 million, involving Okiro.
It will be recalled that on June 6, 2016, CSNAC petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari and demanded the following: recall of Kaase by the PSC, withdrawal of spurious charges against him and providing security for him and his family, based on threats to his life.
The statement by Suraju said: “The actions of CSNAC attracted legal threat, political harassment and propaganda against our group and Chairman. A legal firm under the instruction of Mr. Okiro threatened legal action against our group for supporting Mr. Kaase and our demand for prosecution of Mr. Okiro. Apology and retraction of allegations against Okiro were demanded. We remained steadfast, consistent and unwavering and called the bluff of Mr. Okiro and his libel threat. Fictitious and discredited ‘NGOs’, renown for being at the beck and call of corrupt public officers, were mobilised to attack our Network and the Chairman without success.”
Though, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission in its August 6, 2015 report confirmed all the facts and allegations in Kaase’s petition and demanded the refund of all the funds involved, the Police Service Commission had suspended the whistleblower on May 21, 2018 for exposing the fraudulent activities of PSC staff, especially the Chairman.
The statement by Suraju added: “CSNAC, in line with the mandate of our Network, petitioned ICPC on August 25, 2015, demanded the prosecution of Mr. Okiro based on violation of Sections 16 and 25 (1) (a&b) of ICPC Act and Section 58(4(b)) and 5(a-c) of the Bureau for Public Procurement Act.
“The ICPC had since arraigned Mr. Emmanuel Ibe, the Director of Finance and Administration of the Police Service Commission before his Lordship Justice C.N Oji of the FCT High Court on a 9 count charge. Yet to summon the course and charge Mr. Okiro who was the approving authority in the alleged crime. The Police, under the influence of Mr. Okiro had severally concocted, trumped up charges against Mr. Aaron Kaase. The same charges were filed at three different courts by the police. After the Courts consecutively struck out charges against the Whistleblower, CSNAC on June 1, 2017 wrote to the Attorney General of the Federal through the Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution to demand the intervention of the AGF in taking over the spurious prosecution of Mr. Kaase from the Police and Mr. Okiro.
“While we continue to demand for the prosecution of Mr. Okiro as provided in the law, we salute the courage of the Judiciary, through the National Industrial Court under Justice R. B. Hastrup for upholding the rule of law, enforcing the rights of Mr. Kaase and putting an end to tyranny. We once again salute Mr. Kaase for standing by the truth and confronting the vicissitude of whistleblowing with the courage and resilience of a fighter, to the point of victory.”