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Coalition asks federal civil service authorities to protect whistleblowers

The Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) has called on the Federal Civil Service to protect a whistleblower, Richard Oghenerhoro, who exposed an alleged employment scam in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing in Abuja.

The call came on the heels of the reported disciplinary action taken against Mr Oghenerhoro for uncovering the fake employment and making his findings public.

The whistleblower was found guilty of misconduct, breach of oath of secrecy, unauthorized disclosure of official information and copying of official documents, contrary to the provisions of the Public Service Rules, according to Punch newspaper.

The rule recommended termination of appointment or forced retirement for the offenses.

“CWPPF has taken up cases of victimization of whistleblowers over the years and we certainly demand that Mr Oghenehoro be protected, reinstated, and appreciated for exposing irregularities and weak employment data systems in the Federal Civil Service rather than focus on the petition,” the coalition’s statement issued on Thursday read in part.

It said the action taken against Mr Oghenerhoro contradicted the anti-corruption posturing of President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

“You would think that a government that lays so much emphasis on fighting corruption would be appreciative of citizens who are willing to expose irregularities and corruption in the public interest,” the statement by 18 members of the coalition, including Premium Times, reads in part .

The coalition said Mr Oghenerhoro is “one among numerous cases of violations and stigmatization of whistleblowers since the policy was introduced by the Federal Government in 2016 as a strategy to curb corruption in Nigeria”.

It added: “Whistleblowing is an important tool for fighting corruption. Mr Oghenehoro’s disclosure is timely and important considering the recent report about delisting 70,000 ghost workers in the Federal Civil Service.”

Members of the coalition include media houses, the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and civil society organizations concerned with anti-corruption and free media.

Some of them are Premium Times, OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative, The Cable, Daily Trust Newspaper, International Press Institute, Nigeria; Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism, Center for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) and African Center for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL).

The rest are Civic Media Lab

Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) International Center for, Investigative Reporting (ICIR), International Press Center (IPC), International Press Institute, Nigeria, Media Rights Agenda (MRA), NUJ, Paradigm Initiative, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), and HEDA Resources Center.

Read the Coalition’s Full Statement:

COALITION CALLS ON THE FEDERAL CIVIL SERVICE TO PROTECT WHISTLEBLOWER

11 August 2022 The Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) calls on the Federal Civil Service to protect whistleblower, Richard Oghenerhoro.

The CWPPF regards the disciplinary action against the petitioner, Mr Richard Oghenerhoro, for breach of oath of secrecy, and unauthorized disclosure of official information, as a risible attempt to stifle freedom of expression and a total disregard for the 2016 whistleblowers policy.


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This is one among numerous cases of violations and stigmatization of whistleblowers since the policy was introduced by the Federal Government in 2016 as a strategy to curb corruption in Nigeria.

Whistleblowing is an important tool for fighting corruption. Mr Oghenehoro’s disclosure is timely and important considering the recent report about delisting 70,000 ghost workers in the Federal Civil Service.

You would think that a government that lays so much emphasis on fighting corruption would be appreciative of citizens who are willing to expose irregularities and corruption in the public interest.

CWPPF has taken up cases of victimization of whistleblowers over the years and we certainly demand that Mr Oghenehoro be protected, reinstated, and appreciated for exposing irregularities and weak employment data systems in the Federal Civil Service rather than focus on the petition.

CWPPF condemns the disciplinary actions against Mr Oghenehoro and calls for the immediate withdrawal of the punitive actions. This would boost citizens’ confidence in reporting irregularities that put the country in danger.

We shall continue to oppose all forms of attacks on human rights and press freedom in Nigeria and across the world and hold the government, individuals, and organizations accountable.

We shall continue to take the necessary measures to prevent violence against journalists and media workers and we will also fiercely demand accountability and bring perpetrators of crimes against journalists and media workers to justice.

CWPPF Secretariat

The Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) is a group of media and civil society organizations committed to upholding democracy and good governance by protecting the ethos of whistleblowing, freedom of expression and press freedom.

CWPPF members

Premium Times

OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative

The Cable

Daily Trust Newspaper

International Press Institute, Nigeria

Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism

Center for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID)

African Center for Media & Information Literacy (AFRICMIL)

Civic Media Lab

Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC)

International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)

International Press Center (IPC)

International Press Institute, Nigeria

Media Rights Agenda (MRA)

Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ)

Paradigm Initiative

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)

HEDA Resources Centre.


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