The removal of Mr Isiah Idoko-Akoh as Chairman of Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) by President Muhammadu Buhari has been applauded by members of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), an affiliate of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC).
The sacking of Mr Idoko-Akoh was announced by Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr Mahmoud Isa-Dutse, who also said the President has approved the appointment of a full-time member of the tribunal, Mr J. I. Udunni, as the new chairman.
The union, at a joint press conference on Friday in Abuja, said President Buhari did well by removing Mr Idoko-Akoh from the position, saying it was long overdue.
According to Chairman of the Abuja chapter of AUPCTRE, Comrade Aliyu Maradun, the former IST Chairman vehemently opposed the progress and actualization of the mandate given by President Mohammed Buhari, on tribunal and its workers.
He said the union engaged the former Chairman at different fora with a view to avoid the tribunal from losing its competence and capability in adjudicating over millions of investors’ cases, as his integrity was in doubt, but nothing came of out the talks.
According to him, “The struggle led to three picketing at the IST premises in order to draw government attention and relevant stake-holders.”
He further said, “It is very unfortunate that the Chairman unilaterally handled IST as if it is his own personal private property without recourse to Civil/Public Service Rules and Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The struggle for emancipation of worker and revival of IST became pertinent, when the union discovered that the tribunal is on the verge of being collapsed by the former Chairman due to his high-handedness, maladministration and high level of corruption in which the union petitioned ICPC, EFCC and Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) for investigation and prosecution.”
Mr Maradun also thanked the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Mr Chris Ngige; Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed; Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, and the securities agencies for acting accordingly to save the IST from collapse.
He assured that, “AUPCTRE would always remain committed to the anti-corruption war of President Buhari and the struggle for the betterment of members who are workers in various institutions of government.”
By Dipo Olowookere