The President of the National Union of Post Office and Telecommunications Employees (NUPTE), Comrade Nehemiah Buba, has been urged to submit himself for questioning following an alleged misappropriation of the Union’s funds.
Comrade Buba was suspended on the 18th of October 2019, during the meeting of the National Administrative Council NAC of the Union.
According to NUPTE, even though the suspended President accepted his suspension and left the meeting as required, he has since not submitted himself for questioning in line with the Union’s Constitution.
Speaking to Journalists in Abuja, the Acting President of the Union, who is also the National Treasurer, Comrade Ghazali Akilu said that some of the Union’s vital properties are locked in the office of the suspended President, hindering the day to day running of the office.
“The meeting of our National Administrative Council was held on the 18th of October, in the course of the meeting as a procedure, you need to present what all our activities in between the NEC meetings, because the NAC is administering the Union in between the NEC because NEC is the highest decision making body where resolutions are made.
“In the course of our meeting, after due deliberations, the financial report was called upon, at this meeting, there were 9 National Administrative Council members, comprising the President, Deputy President, Vice President, Chairperson Women Committee who is a Vice President, the National Treasurer, the Auditor, and the three Trustees.
We had a 12-point agenda on the meeting, and the financial report was the 9th agenda, we deliberated to the 8th point agenda, where we went for a recess, after which the meeting continued. After the presentation of the financial report by the National Treasurer, observation was made, from the report, that there were some expenses regarding trips made by the suspended President Comrade Bubu,” the Acting President said.
He said that the report indicted the President of financial offences including over blotting his claims on official trips he made.
The meeting subsequently suspended the President for three months to enable proper investigation which the President obliged having called for the motion which suspended him himself.
To the surprise of the Union, the Acting President said that Comrade Buba locked up the office, depriving access to needed documents, refused to submit himself for investigation as well as carting away the vehicles of the Union.
“Comrade Buba as a presiding officer in that meeting, he allowed the Deputy President to move a motion for his suspension, the embattled President called for a seconder to that motion as part of the ethics of the meeting. The Vice President seconded the motion for the suspension of the President for three months.
“The National Treasurer was nominated to act as President during the period of investigation. The motion was seconded by the National Auditor, there was no counter motion to that and the Deputy President duly approved that motion and all the 8 NAC members that were there nominated the National Treasurer and adopted him as the Acting President who will oversee the affairs of the union for the interim period of three months where by a committee will be set up to investigate and report which will be submitted to the National Administrative Council together with the National Executive Council who have the power to decide.
“Since that day, the Suspended President left and is nowhere to be found, he left in his possession the presidential jeep, secretariat bus, all the vouchers that were audited and found him wanted are inside our secretariat bus. He left together with those vouchers, our liaison office is locked and he left with the key, all the activities of the secretariat now are improvised…” Ghazali Akilu said.
While appealing to the suspended President to do the what he called the needful, Akilu disclosed that NUPTE is made up of both public and private sector members and most of those in the private sector, their condition of service are renewed after two or one year, “which happens between December and January, and we are in the season of collective bargaining agreement, and we are stranded because our office is locked we can’t access our document,” he decried.
When Voice of Nigeria contacted the suspended President on phone to get his own side of the story, he said that the matter was before the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige. In his words: “ I am believing God that the Minister will resolve the matter soon, that’s all I can say for now”, Comrade Buba said.