Senate probes alleged rights abuses at NDLEA
This decision was sequel to a petition forwarded to the Upper Legislative Chamber by a former officer of the NDLEA, Mrs. Francisca Tochukwu Udeoji, in which she informed the Senate that she was sacked for proposing to get married to a driver with the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), Mr. Osondu Enwereuzor.
Presenting the petition to the Senate, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP, Abia South), said the decision to sack Mrs. Udeoji was “gender discriminatory” and against her right as enshrined in Chapter Four of the 1999 Constitution.
But the NDLEA in the letter terminating her appointment stated that Mrs. Udeoji was found guilty of unapproved single parentage, an action it said ran contrary to and punishable under Paragraph 12.8(i) of the NDLEA Regulations 2001 as amended.
But Mrs. Udeoji stated in her petition that she was aware of the rule in the NDLEA that forbade senior officers from getting married to their juniors, pointing out that her husband never worked with the NDLEA.
She wrote: “I did not get married to somebody in the same organisation. My husband works with Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) while I work with NDLEA.”
The Senate Committee on Ethics, Public Petitions and Code of Conduct, headed by Senator Omar Hambagda, was asked to study the provisions of Chapter four of the 1999 constitution in relation to the allegation and submit a report on the matter within four weeks with recommendations that could help the Senate take appropriate decision on the petition.
Senate President David Mark assured that the Upper Legislative Chamber would always act in such a way as to encourage constitutionality and proper dispensation of justice.