- As SERAP Demands Recall
- Of Secret Recruitment Letters
By Lateef Bamgboshe, Abuja
These are not the best of times for Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele following calls from various quarters demanding for his sack over alleged sundry corrupt practices during the immediate past regime of President Goodluck Jonathan, but he does not seem to be losing sleep, as his job appears secured.
Emefiele has been accused of being vicariously liable for the plunder of the nation’s resources through the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, for releasing funds to the embattled Dasuki in negligence of approved channels, but has denied all such insinuations.
The attendant politics in the appointment of public officers by President Muhammadu Buhari seem to have initially put Emefiele’s job in the balance, but unfolding events indicate that, the CBN Governor may be a victim of scheming by people interested in the job, and not as bad as he is being portrayed.
Coupled with the legal issues involved in Emefiele’s appointment, sources confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari may have accepted the incumbent CBN Governor as a necessary evil, he will have to work with for now, which tends to truncate the aspirations of people earlier penciled down as possible replacement.
Investigations revealed that, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice had pointed out to the President that, although the CBN Governor is an appointee of the President, his removal may be very cumbersome, and attempting to do so, may fall foul of the laws and may not enjoy the blessings of the relevant agencies involved in the process.
Sources told our correspondent that President Muhammadu Buhari is being nudged from many angles to sack Godwin Emefiele as CBN Governor, for alleged misconducts and dereliction of duties, but based on legal counseling, and attendant revelations on some of his potential appointees, he has resisted the pressures.
In another development, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele requesting him to “immediately withdraw hundreds of letters of employment issued following a seriously flawed recruitment process and to put in place a system of recruitment and hiring based on the principles of non-discrimination, transparency, participation and objective criteria such as merit, equity and aptitude.”
The group warned that “Should Mr Emefiele and the CBN fail and/or neglect to act as requested within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter, the Registered Trustees of SERAP shall take appropriate legal action to ensure effective remedies for millions of Nigerians that have been denied equal opportunity to participate in the recruitment process.
The letter dated 18 March 2016 and signed by SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni reads in part: “This corrupt process amounts to a fundamental breach of constitutionally and internationally recognized human rights of millions of Nigerians particularly the right to equality and non-discrimination, to work and to human dignity.
“Instead of the CBN promoting equality of opportunity and access to employment for all Nigerians, it has perpetrated discrimination, and therefore denied an opportunity for economic self‑reliance and in many cases a means for millions of Nigerians to escape poverty and live a life of dignity.
“The process also directly breaches article 7 of the UN Convention against Corruption which Nigeria has ratified. Article 7 requires institutions like the CBN to adopt maintain and strengthen systems for the recruitment and hiring of civil servants that are based on principles of transparency and objective criteria such as merit, equity and aptitude.
“SERAP believes that by the secret recruitment, millions of otherwise qualified Nigerians have been treated less favourably than the children of the politically and economically connected. This differential treatment is arbitrary and cannot be reasonably and objectively justified. It can in fact result in pervasive discrimination, stigmatization and negative stereotyping. The secret recruitment also offends the requirement for Nigeria to make the labour market open to everyone in the country.
“SERAP notes that non-discrimination and equality are essential for the exercise and enjoyment of other constitutionally and internationally recognized human rights, as well as equal and effective protection before and of the law. We also remind you that every Nigerian has the right to be able to work, allowing him/her to live in dignity.
“SERAP is seriously concerned that the secret recruitment unfairly deprives millions of Nigerians the right to work, impermissibly limiting their freedom regarding the choice to work, and undermining their personal development and social and economic inclusion. While the right to work is not an absolute and unconditional right to obtain employment, it implies the right of access to a system of protection guaranteeing every eligible Nigerian access to employment, and the right not to be unfairly deprived of employment.”
“The secret recruitment has therefore impaired and nullified the exercise of the rights of Nigerians, especially disadvantaged and marginalized individuals and groups to human dignity, equality and non-discrimination.”
“Furthermore, the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended) provides in section 42 that a citizen of Nigeria of a particular group shall not, by reason only that he is such a person: a) be subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other groups are not made subject; or be accorded any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to all citizens of Nigeria.”
“Section 16(2) provides that the economic system will not be operated in such a manner as to permit the concentration of wealth or means of production and exchange in the hands of few individuals or of a group, such as the politically and economically connected or their children.
“Section 17 provides that the state social order is founded on ideals of freedom, equality and justice. Subsection (3) of the same section provides that the state shall direct its policy towards, ensuring that all citizens without discrimination on any group whatever, have the opportunity for securing adequate means of livelihood as well as adequate opportunity to secure suitable employment.
“According to reports, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) carried out an alleged secret recruitment of over 900 employees on your directive and under your supervision. Many of the beneficiaries are said to be children and relatives of the politically and economically connected. Our information suggests that there were no prior notifications on the recruitment through advertisements to give all Nigerians the opportunity to participate.”