Group to drag NTI D-G to court over Registrar’s removal


Group to drag NTI D-G to court over Registrar’s removal

By Abdul Hassan
September 18, 2023

A group, Zazzau Indigenes Progressive Association (ZIPA), has threatened legal action against the Director-General of National Teachers Institute (NTI), Prof. Musa-Garba Maitafsiri, over the removal of the acting Registrar of the institute, Malam Ibrahim Hamid.

The association’s Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Ahmed disclosed this on Sunday in Abuja while speaking to journalists.

He said the action was necessary to challenge the alleged dictatorial style of the D-G, and seek justice over the unlawful removal of the acting registrar.

“ The registrar was removed unjustly, because of the selfish need to install one Fatima Abbas Jega as Registrar.

“ We have written a petition to the Honorable Minister of Education and copied the Minister of State, the Head of Service of the Federation and anti-corruption agencies over the destructive administrative style of the director-general,’’ Ahmed said.

According to him, Hamid was appointed by the Governing Council of the institute on Aug. 9, 2021 as Acting Registrar and working to the satisfaction of the entire staff when he suddenly removed.

“Suddenly on Jan. 12, 2023, the D-G wrote a letter signed by his self-appointed acting registrar, Fatima Jega asking Hamid to proceed on indefinite leave over a petition written against the management of the institute by a Deputy Registrar Mr Obioha Ogunbuka.

“Ogunbuka’s petition was against the appointment of Hamid by the governing council, and since then Hamid has been on indefinite leave even before the investigation of the petition. He has since been left with no details about his status in the institute.

“We reliably gathered that a committee was later set up to look into the petition and all the parties involved appeared and the committee found Hamid not guilty of any issue,” the chairman said.

Ahmed wondered where the D-G derived the power to send a registrar on indefinite leave before investigation.

According to him, there’s no provision for ‘indefinite leave’ in the Civil Service Rules, or having two acting Registrars in an institution.

“ As a lawyer, I know what it means by Justice. Hamid is treated badly, he was sentenced before trial, the D-G meted punishment on him unjustly,’’ he said

“We will go to court and demand for the immediate reinstatement of Hamid as acting registrar, if we exhaust all administrative options to get him reinstated,”

Ahmed also said that the association had facts on the illegal reinstatement of a dismissed staff, and noncompliance to the Head of Civil Service of the Federation on eight years’ service for Directors.
“As citizens of Nigeria, we are also interested in getting facts about allegations of inflated contracts and collapse of NTI post graduate Diploma and NCE programmes,’’ he added.

According to him, ZIPA is at the vanguard of promoting harmonious relationships between the community and institutions in Zazzau Emirate.

“ As such we cannot fold our arms and watch the destruction of this great historic institution,’’ Ahmed added, and appealed to the minister of education to investigate the matter.

Reacting to allegations, the director-general dismissed all the allegations saying they were false and mere fabrications.

According to him, the acting registrar was removed
on the directive of former minister of state, education, after Ogundele’s petition.

“The then Minister of State, Mr Goodluck Nanah-Opiah, wrote a letter directing us to suspend the acting Registrar and the Deputy pending the outcome investigation.

“After investigation, the committee recommended that both of them should be dismissed,’’ he said.

Maitafsir claimed that since he assumed office, the acting registrar and his deputy have been at loggerhead, writing petitions against each other.

The DG said that he personally pleaded with the investigation committee to review their recommendation of dismissal, because of the integrity and family responsibilities of both officers.

He said that the NTI management thereafter suggested to transfer them out of the Headquarters.

Maitafsir also denied any wrong doing in the award of contracts or compliance with civil service rules.

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