The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Co-odinator Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Quaker Dokubo, has alleged that one pastor Miebi Bribena, a contractor with the amnesty office has connived with a director of finance and account in the same office, Mr. Ilem Ukam to blackmail him. Amnesty Prof. Charles Dokubo
Describing as total “blackmail and defamation of his character,” reports against him allegedly sponsored by the duo of Bribena and Ukam, the Amnesty Boss, in a statement through the office of his Special Adviser on Niger Delta, Wednesday, accused Bribena of misappropriating the funds meant for the completion of some contracts including the construction of Oil and Gas Vocational Training Centre, Agadagba and the Maritime Vocational Training institute, Obuama.
The statement called on the office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme to call Pastor Bribena to order through constitutional means.
The statement reads thus:
It has come to notice of the office of the Special Adviser on Niger Delta to the President and Co-ordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Quaker Dokubo of the activities of one Pastor Miebi Bribena, a contractor with the amnesty office, who has connived with other persons including the Director of Finance and Accounts in the Amnesty Office, Mr. Ilem Ukam to blackmail the amnesty boss.
It all started when Pastor Miebi Bribena who is also an architect was awarded the contract of the construction of Oil and Gas Vocational Training Centre, Agadagba and the Maritime Vocational Training Institute, Obuama simultaneously by the Kuku-led-Amnesty Office. Pastor was mobilized 98% upfront to execute the jobs. The Agadagba Centre was 60% near completion before it was stopped, but for the timely intervention of Prof. Charles Quaker Dokubo on assumption of office it was completed and commissioned recently. The Obuama Centre was way behind schedule and abandoned with just 20% completion after the release of N2.4 billion naira for a job of such magnitude.
General Boroh, Prof. Dokubo’s predecessor, was tricked into believing that it was the differential in prices, because of the prevailing inflation, that was delaying the job; the balance of funds was released for him to complete the job, Pastor Miebi Bribena did not go to site and diverted the money for his personal use. On assumption of office, Prof. Dokubo called up the Obuama file and was shocked at the discrepancies and numbers that did not add up. Pastor Bribena was invited to clear the air, he was asking for differential in prices again, which was seen as an absurdity. The amount he quoted as differential was equivalent to the original amount quoted for the job, couple with the fact that, he was incoherent and belligerent in his responses. A team was sent to Obuama to evaluate what has been done and was shell-shocked on the state of the structure.
The findings were quite revealing:
1) The foundation of the Obuama Centre was good but the superstructure was an admixture of substandard and standard materials, e. g. blocks, columns were of substandard materials among others.
2) The N2.4 billion naira released for the project was not commensurate with the level of work done.
3) Building materials were diverted for personal use by Bribena
4) Pastor Bribena was busy building houses for some stakeholders in the Niger Delta in order to buy them over in the event of any discovery of shortcomings in the execution of the Obuama project. Those mouths have been sealed since the Obuama project scam came up.
5) The community secondary school Obuama only source of recreation-the football field–was damaged when trucks bearing building materials rode on the field. Pastor Miebi Bribena is yet to take responsibility for this damage.
6) Experts feel the building might collapse under immense pressure of human movement sooner than expected.
7) Hostels and staff quarters have not been built.
8) The jetty for the Maritime institute has not been built among others.
9) The 165 feet deep well for deep sea diving training has not being built among other ancillaries.
9) Accusations of impropriety were also made against Pastor Miebi Bribena by some indigenes of Obuama who did business with him.
Prof. Charles Quaker Dokubo was not comfortable with the findings and other unethical developments and decided to put everything on hold pastor Miebi Bribena’s request for more money.
This was the beginning of Pastor Miebi Bribena’s running battle with the Amnesty office. He enlisted the services of the director of finance and account in the amnesty office, Mr. Ilem Ukam to cause problem in the Niger Delta region with aim of heating up the polity which invariably will lead to the removal of Prof. Dokubo as the amnesty office boss.
Video and audio recordings of Pastor Miebi Bribena verbally insulting Prof. Dokubo were made to go viral. Prior to this time Pastor Miebi Bribena, Mr. Ilem Ukam and a group had orchestrated the looting of Kaiama training where items worth billions of naira were carted away.
To add salt to injury, Bribena has been bragging to all who would listen hear that he single-handedly removed General Boroh, Prof. Charles Dokubo will go in like manner, then a Special Adviser on Niger Delta and coordinator of the amnesty of his choice will be chosen.
The general public should be put on notice that:
i) Pastor Bribena was so privileged to have been given three choice contracts to build three training centres in Ondo, Rivers and Bayelsa respectively; these centres all have issues of non-completion with severe structural defects. The Oil and Gas Vocational Training Centre, Agadagba was remedied by Prof. Charles Dokubo on assumption of office and consequently commissioned to be put to use. The Maritime Vocational Training Centre, Obuama has been abandoned but funds were provided.
ii) The reason Miebi Bribena could not complete these projects, most especially the Maritime Vocational Training Institute, Obuama, Rivers State, was due largely to his insatiable desire for money and power. He diverted the funds for the project to the pursuance of his political career, which failed even before he began the journey.
iii) He lives in faraway Ghana, but delights in fomenting trouble in the Niger Delta as a distraction from the main issue. In the event of any crisis caused by his incendiary comments in the region his family is safe in foreign land, while unsuspecting innocent ones will become casualties.
iv) The youths of the region should hold Miebi Bribena accountable for the non-completion of the Maritime Vocational Training Centre, Obuama in Rivers State. One man has decided to derail the hard-earned peace progress in the region, in order to feed his ego, greed and criminality. His children attend Ivy League schools abroad and the institute that would help transform the children of less-privileged in the region has been abandoned by Pastor Miebi Bribena.
v) It was gathered from the grapevine that he diverted some of the building materials meant for Obuama projects to some of the construction sites of his church (Christ Embassy in Port-Harcourt and Yenagoa respectively) to boost his status symbol as a man of God.
Without much ado, we call on the office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme to call Pastor Bribena to order through constitutional means. It is either he finishes the project at Obuama or face the wrath of the aggrieved Niger Delta youths. This man is a fraud and must be arrested.
Ex-staff fights embattled billionaire Onajite Okoloko‘s Notore Chemical Industries, wins in court
The National Industrial Court, Lagos Division, has ordered Notore Chemicals Industries Plc, owned by embattled Nigerian billionaire Onajite Okoloko’s, to pay Mr. Ayodele Balogun, a former employee of the company the sum of N20, 525, 999 (Twenty Million, Five Hundred and Twenty-Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety Nine Naira, Sixty Kobo only) as outstanding balance of his gratuity payment due to him since 2013.
In a judgement monitored by The Witness, and delivered by the presiding judge, Hon. Justice Nelson Ogbuanya, the court held that the company action credited to external advice which prompted the defence of ‘mistaken payment’ was not justified, and cannot override the obligation to pay outstanding balance due to the claimant.
The claimant- Ayodele was employed on 1st October 2008 as Chief Marketing Officer, that by a letter dated June 14, 2013, sent via e-mail on Wednesday June 19, 2013 he tendered resignation, and indicated that it would take effect on 1st October 2013, that as a result of his service to the firm spanning 5 years, that he has become entitled to payment of gratuity upon successful exit from the Company that a total settlement package was communicated to him via e-mail out of which only 50% was paid and all effort to get balance proved abortive.
In argument, the firm submitted that Ayodele did not attain the threshold of ‘continuous service greater than 5 years and up to 10 years’ to be qualified for monetary payment in addition to ‘Testimonial of Service’, which is the only package available for those who were in ‘continuous service up to 5 years’, under the company gratuity that the payment already paid to the Claimant was a mistake and it was because of the discovery of the error that the Defendant refused to pay the balance and also seeks refund of it.
Counsel to the firm further argued that the Claimant’s resignation becomes effective on date of receipt of the letter of resignation by the employer, and as such, the correct effective date of the Claimant’s resignation is June 14 2013 (submission date), and not the 1st October 2008 contained in the resignation letter that the Claimant’s case lacks merit and should be dismissed while upholding the counter-claim for refund of the sum already paid to the Claimant in error.
Counsel to the claimant U. U Njoku, Esq contended that the Defendant failed to tender its payroll to disprove that the Claimant was no longer in its pay roll as at 1 October 2013 urged the court to so hold and grant the reliefs sought.
Delivering judgment after careful evaluation of the submissions of both counsel and the processes filed, Justice Ogbuanya held that where date is not provided in the resignation, it takes immediate effect upon receipt of resignation, but when effective date is provided, it becomes effective on the last day of the notice period.
“I also note that it is part of the court’s equitable jurisdiction to preserve earned benefits, particularly those of pecuniary nature, and court usually tilts towards resolving such emerging controversy in favour of the beneficiary rather than in favour of one trying to take away or expropriate the benefit.
“From the tenor of the above provisions of the company Gratuity Policy, I find that once an employee attains 5 years of continuous service with the defendant, such an employee shall/must be entitled to not only cash payment as gratuity but also other testimonials and certificate of appreciation and or asset gift.
“In the circumstance of the claimant, I find that he has attained 5 years of continuous service with the defendant and there was no evidence disputing that he resigned willfully and there was no evidence of any skirmish of probe or low performance tainting his voluntary resignation. I so hold.” Justice Ogbuanya ruled.
In all, the court dismissed the counterclaim for lacking merit.
Lagos commissioner, Ajibola Ponnle’s rising profile
Ajibola Yewande Olufunke Ponnle is the Lagos State Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions.
Until her appointment, she was the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, the industry regulator of the profession of Human Resource Management in Nigeria.
Born on the 9th of September, 1973, she has 25 years uniquely diverse professional experience. Building on her B.Sc. in Economics from the University of Ibadan and a M.Sc. in Organisational Psychology from the University of London, she gained key skills in the fields of finance, strategy, organizational development and human resource management, with a specialisation in executive/leadership and team coaching.
She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management of Nigeria, Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria and an International Coach Federation Accredited Professional Coach.
Mrs Ponnle started her career in 1994 with Arthur Andersen (now KPMG), thereafter, joined British American Tobacco as one of the founding pre-merger staff and left as a member of both the Finance and Marketing Senior Management teams. In 2004, she became an entrepreneur, setting up a series of companies including TeamBuilding Africa Consultancy, the regional representative of Team Building USA where she was at the forefront of shaping the experiential team development industry in Nigeria, serving also as visiting faculty on the Executive Management Programme at Lagos Business School. In 2015, she pioneered the establishment of the Nigeria Chapter of International Coach Federation (ICF) and served as the Founding Chapter President, a Trustee and a member of ICF EMEA regional leadership team.
She became the first Nigerian to earn the ICF Professional Certified Coach accreditation and also the first Core Energy Coach and Energy Leadership Master Practitioner in the country. In recognition of her contribution to the development of professional coaching in the region, she was selected as one of five founding members of the Africa Executive Coaching Council.
In January 2017, Ajibola launched the Centre for Core Coaching, dedicated to certifying professional life and corporate coaches, becoming the first programme in West Africa developed to meet the International Coach Federation accredited coach training standards. Ajibola is a seasoned learning facilitator and international speaker. A visionary, change champion and consummate professional who is fully committed to pursuing the ‘Human Agenda’ in the nation.
Ecobank Nigeria partners Lagos govt to clean up waterfronts
Ecobank Nigeria is partnering with Lagos State Ministry of Environment on Waterfront Clean Up Program to enhance the preservation of marine Ecosystem and effectively facilitate socio-economic activities such as transportation, power generation, irrigation and habitat to aquatic life.
The exercise, tagged “Cleaner Waterfront Our Pride”, was flagged off on Thursday at the Lagos State Government, Ferry Jetty, Amuwo-Odofin.
In his comment, Engr. Joe Igbokwe, Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Drainage and Water Resources, said the project was dedicated to cleaning Lagos waterfronts and educating people on ways of disposing plastic waste properly rather than dumping them into the gutter and how to preserve the Ecosystem in general.
Igbokwe who profusely commended Ecobank for its continual support on environmental sustainability issues noted that each and every one of the citizens and corporate bodies are stakeholders and must be involved in helping to preserve the environment, as it is a call to action for all.
Also speaking, the Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan said the partnership to clear up Lagos waterfronts is part of the Pan African bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy to support environmental sustainability initiatives with a view to making the environment safer for living.
According to him, the partnership with Lagos State Government and other non- governmental organisations across the continent was in that direction.
He noted that the water bodies are priceless gifts of nature with huge aesthetic, tourism and economic values.
He lamented that these, however, had been subjected to all forms of abuse and degradation, including dumping and littering with solid wastes and all forms of debris.
The Managing Director who was represented by Tunde Dawodu, a General Manager in the bank, pointed out that there should be a culture change on the way we dispose of our garbage.
This he noted starts with every one of us. He noted that it was in recognition of this fact, that Ecobank in May this year launched a campaign tagged: ‘Plastic Bottle for Cash’ to pick up four million bottles from Lagos drainages.
Under the initiative, Lagos residents were informed and encouraged to exchange plastic bottles for cash at designated locations across the State.
Of the 4 million target set, over two million used plastic bottles have so far been removed from the streets as the project continues to the end of the year.
According to him, “this initiative is part of our sustainability week for 2019, designed to create awareness on environmental sustainability and to buttress the fact that as a bank, we take time in helping to protect the environment where we operate. Ecobank is an environmentally friendly and socially responsible entity in alignment with the expectation of the Nigeria Sustainability Banking Policy of Central Bank of Nigeria.”
He noted that the 2019 campaign centered on cleaning Lagos and its environs of used plastic bottles along streets, drainages and waterways by collecting and recycling four million plastic bottles. “We hope to reduce this menace affecting our ocean marine life and threatening the food chain. As a responsible corporate organization, the bank will do all it takes to check the trend to ensure a safer living environment for every one of us”.
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