AFRICMIL commends Fashola, FMBN Board for reinstating whistleblower

The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) has commended the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, and the Board of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) for the reinstatement of Murtala Ibrahim, a whistleblower in the Bank. Ibrahim was reinstated following the recommendations of the report of a Ministerial Investigative Committee inaugurated by Fashola.

The Committee was set up following the whistleblower’s petition to the Honourable Minister and subsequently a letter sent by AFRICMIL urging him to use his good offices to reinstate the whistleblower.

In a statement signed by Chido Onumah, Coordinator of AFRICMIL, the Centre praised Fashola and the Board for heeding the call to stand on the side of justice and offering a ray of hope to citizens who feel reluctant to report corrupt practices for fear of retaliation. Said Onumah: “We receive the news of Murtala’s reinstatement with great delight and see this development as yet another morale booster for workers who fear that when they report fraud or other forms of wrongdoing there would be reprisals for which they would never get justice.”

Onumah urged citizens not to be constrained by the fear of retaliation, saying “AFRICMIL, just as in the case of Aaron Kaase, Ntia Thompson and Murtala Ibrahim, would ensure that victimized whistleblowers get restitution no matter how long it takes.”

Ibrahim was a Unit Head in the ICT Process Audit and Special Investigation Unit of the FMBN at the time he was sacked on May 8, 2017, following his refusal to compromise on ethics and for blowing the whistle on contract scam and the bank’s falsified 2016 Half-Year Profit Validation Report.

In the statement, Onumah noted that Ibrahim was only carrying out his duties in an honest and professional manner before he was unjustly sacked. According to Onumah, what Ibrahim went through during the period brings to the fore what whistleblowers go through for merely exercising the right of citizens to report wrongdoing. “Protecting whistleblowers from retaliation will promote and ease reporting on corruption, while also enhancing openness and accountability in government and corporate workplaces,” he said.

Chido Onumah
Coordinator, African Centre for Media & Information Literacy.