The Senate has directed the ECOWAS Commission to ensure the immediate reinstatement of Mrs Tokunbo Lijadu-Oyemade, its former director of administration who was sacked by the commission, 17 years ago.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petition, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, gave the directive while ruling on the petition brought by Lijadu-Oyemade before his panel.
Akinyelure wondered why the sub-continental agency ignored court ruling, Senate resolution and a directive by a former Foreign Affairs minister on the matter.
The sacked director, according to her petition, had approached the 8th Senate over the issue and the red chamber after it deliberated on her case, passed a resolution, demanding her reinstatement.
The petitioner added that she approached the Court when the ECOWAS Commission allegedly failed to comply with directives and also got a judgment directing the sub-continental agency to reinstate her.
She therefore requested the Senate to look into the matter by directing the ECOWAS Commission to reinstate her and pay all her entitlements.
The letter sent to the President, ECOWAS Commission, Jean Claude Kossi Brau, by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, dated June 23, 2020, on the matter, was obtained by our correspondent on Friday.
The Minister pleaded with Brau to rescind the Commission’s decision and reinstate the petitioner because the development was already affecting her social status.
The letter with reference number ECO 190/Vol.Ii was titled, “Re: Long Standing case of Mrs. Tokunbo Lijadu-Oyemade with the ECOWAS Commission”
It read in part, “I write in respect of the above subject matter, to remind you that the issue has lingered for 16 years and remained unresolved by the ECOWAS Commission, despite several requests by the Federal Government of Nigeria for a review of the case.
“As you may be aware, Mrs Tokunbo Lijadu-Oyemade was seconded from the Federal Civil Service of Nigeria in the year 2000 to fill the vacant quota post of Director of Administration in ECOWAS Commission.
“Unfortunately, she was dismissed from service at the Commission in 2004, under circumstances which she has been contesting for years.
“It is significant to note that that her dismissal is having negative impact on her social status.
“Considering that the matter has lingered for years, I wish to crave your indulgence to address it once and for all.
“It is pertinent to note that all the letters written in the past with a view to resolving the matter were not acted upon by the Commission.
“A case in point was the letter written on 23rd May 2011by the then Chairman of Council, Odein Ajumogobia. where he invoked his powers in Rule 13(3) of the 2010 Rules of procedure of Council having discovered the flaws at the 57th Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers held in Ouagadougou on 18th and 19th December 2006 as it relates to Mrs. Lijadu-Oyemade’s case .
“In view of the discovery, he (Ajumogobia) directed the then ECOWAS President to:
“(a) Rescind Regulation C.REG/29/12/06 adopted by the 57th Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers in December 2006, as it concerns Council’s directive to the then President of the ECOWAS Commission to terminate the appointment of Mrs.Tokunbo Lijadu-Oyemade as Director of Administration.
“(b) Direct the immediate reinstatement of Mrs Tokunbo Lijadu-Oyemade in accordance with Article 65(b) and 73(b) of the ECOWAS Staff regulations, 1993and 2005 respectively and immediate compliance with the judgments delivered between 10th October, 2005 and 16th of November, 2006, particularly paragraph 77(5) of judgment ECW/CCJ/APP/04/06 delivered on 16th November, 2006.
“(c) Direct the Professional Staff Representatives to prepare, in collaboration with Mrs. Lijadu-Oyemade, to present the prepared, already signed and translated Memorandum of Appeal to the 67th Session of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers through the AFC in November 2011.
“It is important to note that the instructions were never complied with by successive presidents of the Commission till date.”