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Court adjourns hearing corruption case against Finance Ministry Dec 7, 8

From Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria has fixed Monday December 7 and 8, 2022 for a definite hearing in a suit filed against the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning over alleged corrupt practices in the Budget office of the Federation.

A senior staff of the Budget Office of the Federation, Mrs Bilkisu Okenne Sannusi had, in the suit against the Ministry, alleged abuse of governmental powers to illegally and unlawfully withhold her salaries and entitlement for daring to expose corrupt practice being perpetuated in the Budget office of the Federation.

The Head of Service of the Federation, Director General, Budget Office of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National, the Attorney General of the Federation and Accountant General of the Federation were joined as defendants in the suit marked NICN/ABJ/ 96/2022.

When the matter was called on Monday, the Director, Legal, in the Budget Office, Mrs M. D Agada, representing the 2nd and 3rd Defendants and Aliyu Abdulkadir, representing the Attorney General of the Federation told the court that they have filed memorandum of appearance and their responses to the originating summons of the claimant in the matter.

But, the trial Judge, Justice Oyebola Oyewumi observed that the memorandum of appearance of the 4th defendant was without a stamp as required and ordered parties to file all necessary papers before December 7 and 8, slated for definite hearing in the case.

The claimant had, in her statements of fact alleged that she discovered monumental corrupt practices by some staff of the Ministry of Finance (3rd Defendant) in the office of the Director General, Budget Office of the Federation (2nd Defendant).

The corrupt practice, she said bothers on manipulation of budget proposals by MDAs, which she reported to the Director General and also alleged further that the 2nd Defendant, being her immediate boss, was complicit in the alleged acts.

Following aggression by him against her person, she escalated the matter to the Head of Service of the Federation (1st Defendant) and the Ministry of Finance (3rd Defendant) who also decided to sail in the same boat with the 2nd Defendant.

According to the claimant, the issue led to the removal of her name from payments vouchers and other efforts to frustrate her, alleging further that the 2nd Defendant also without any justification caused her Secret and Open Files domiciled with the Budget Office of the Federation Registry to be removed and kept in an unknown place to frustrate her from proceeding on her retirement.

The claimant has also alleged in her statement that the 2nd Defendant, in a bid to frustrate her also instructed his allies in the Finance department to withhold and deny her due financial and maternal benefits and rights incidental to her employment and office in the Budget Office of the Federation.

The claimant wants the court to declare that, “The termination of the Claimant’s salaries and entitlements prior and from the 26th November, 2021 till date by the 1st, 2nd 3rd and 5th Defendant is illegal, unlawful and a gross abuse of governmental powers as such null and void and of no effect among others.

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