The Comptroller-General of Immigration (CGI), Muhammadu Babandede has been accused of flouting an order made by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) restraining him and two others from harassing and intimidating an aggrieved official of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) who sued them.
The allegation is contained in a reply affidavit filed by the aggrieved NIS official, Daniel Makolo in response to an affidavit to show cause filed by Babandede and others in response to a contempt proceedings commenced against them upon the issuance of Form 49 on them by the court.
The court had on July 19 this year, made an order ex-parte retraining the NIS, the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prisons Services Board (CDFIPB) and the CGI from harassing or intimidating the applicant and from carrying out any promotion exercise pending the determination of the substantive suit.
Makolo, a Chief Superintendent of Immigration filed the substantive suit marked: NICN/ABJ/208/2017 earlier this year, alleging discrimination and fraudulent practices in the promotion exercises being carried out by the NIS.
He among others, also accused the Immigration authorities of discriminating against him because of his critical stance against some unlawful practices in the NIS.
Shortly after the order was made, Makolo returned to the court by filing Forms 48 and 49 against the defendants on the grounds that they flouted the order by allegedly proceeding with the promotion exercise and subjecting him to further harassment.
In their response to the Form 49, titled “affidavit to show cause,” Babandede and others denied flouting the court’s order, but insisted that since the applicant was still a serving NIS official, he was not immune to Service Rules and Regulations.
The Special Adviser to the CGI on Investigation and Compliance, Manir Yari stated in the affidavit that despite the pending suit, “subjecting the applicant to those rules therefore is not an act of harassing or intimidating the claimant/applicant.”
But, in his reply to the defendants’ affidavit, Makolo accused the defendants of persistently harassing him and even threatening to eliminate him.
He stated that despite his pending suit and the court’s order the defendabts issued him a query and subjected him to the NIS’ disciplinary committee.
Makolo particularly accused Babandede of being behind threats to his life; the quit notice issued to him to vacate his official quarters at the NIS Headquarters, Abuja and his eventual forceful eviction by armed officials of the NIS, while he was away in Lagos.
He said: “While I was away in Lagos to see my family, the 3rd defendant (CGI) mobilised the 1st defendant (NIS’) officers to and did trespass; broke into my apartment at Block A, Flat 2 NIS Senior Officers Quarters along Airport Road, Sauka on 30th September 2017 at about 9.45am and forcefully ejected me by self-help, from my duly allocated apartment.”
Makolo, who accused the NIS officers, who allegedly broke into his apartment, of removing his valuable property, listed some of them to include his wife’s gold jewelries worth N5million, $35,000.00 meant for his children’s school fees and upkeep at the Eastern Mediterranean University, Cyprus and N450, 000.00 meant for the air fare ticket of one of the children back to school.
He said the incident affected his health and plans for his children to return to school and that he is now compelled to put up in a hotel, where he pays N10, 000 daily.
The applicant stated that the office of the lawyer, representing him in the case, located at Suite A26, Abuja Shopping Mall, Wuse Zone 3, was also burgled and broken into between 23rd and 24th September, during which files and documents relating to his case were stolen among other valuable items.
Makolo stated that “the 3rd defendant has consistently boasted of his connection in high places, saying to the hearing of people, while referring to me that ‘my people have quashed the case and I will eliminate him and throw away his corpse and nothing will happen, this is Nigeria.
“This desire, he has not relented; taking it to a ridiculous extent unbecoming of a Chief Executive of an organisation like Nigeria Immigration Service,” Makolo said.
He equally attached copies of the petitions he wrote to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), accused Babandede of threatening his life.
When parties returned to court on October 31, the trial judge, Justice Kado Sanusi adjourned to December 4 for the hearing of processes filed in relation to the contempt proceedings.
Upon complaint by the applicant that he was still being harassed, Justice Sanusi warned the defendants to desist from any unlawful act and abide by the subsisting court order.