The former Interior Minister Abba Moro and four others (Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, a then Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Interior, F.O. Alayebami, a Deputy Director at the Ministry of Interior and Drexel Tech Global Ltd alongside Mahmood Ahmadu who is said to be at large) are currently facing trial over allegedly defrauding 675,675 job applicants of whooping N675, 675, 000. The job applicants were compelled by an ICT firm, Drexel Tech Global to pay a registration fee of N1000 for 5,000 job openings during the 2014 Nigeria Immigration Service recruitment. The former minister had put in place a botched recruitment process that enabled the Interior Ministry to extort at least N520 million from the compulsory levies imposed on the job applicants.
At different centres around the country, including Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt about twenty young promising Nigerians including pregnant women were killed and several others sustained varying degrees of injuries during a stampede caused by the grossly negligent and uncaring ground arrangements for the recruitment exercise.
After the March 15th, 2014 tragedy, Say No Campaign-Nigeria, Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) and Brekete Family Radio, hosted a citizens public hearing on the #NISStampede to gather facts and document the experiences of applicants that participated in the recruitment exercise; unravel the facts surrounding the involvement of the Nigeria Immigration Service and Ministry of Interior in the stampede. The public hearing had in attendance those who sustained injuries and relatives of those who lost their lives. The victims made oral and written presentations on their experience of what transpired on that fateful day and there were heart-wrenching findings from the public hearing.
Several follow up actions were taken after the Citizens Public Hearing to demand accountability and justice for the victims of the recruitment exercise especially those who lost their lives and sustained injuries. No one was held accountable or prosecuted for the murder of innocent citizens. Calls by well meaning Nigerians for the sack or dismissal of Abba Moro were flagrantly ignored.
In his initial reaction to the deaths, Abba Moro accused the victims of impatience claiming the deaths occurred because they did not follow laid down procedures spelt out to them before the exercise. On October 20th 2014 Abba Moro while speaking on a Channels TV breakfast programme Sunrise Daily, made it clear he would not resign but would rather stay put in office.
Nevertheless, the tide has changed. We are delighted that our demand that Abba Moro face the law as the only way justice can be served to those who lost their lives has finally begun.
On March 3 2016, Abba Moro, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia and F.O.Alayebami were granted bail by the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja. Trial will commence on April 27, 2016 and we expect Economic Financial Crimes Court (EFCC) to produce firm evidences against the defendants. We also urge the EFCC to leave no stone unturned in carrying out their mandate. We will not relent until justice is served.
Say No Campaign-Nigeria