By Emmanuel Chima – Abuja
The report of allegation of discriminatory Recruitment process against Nigeria and other members of ECOWAS is no longer rumour as the President of the Parliament honourably responded to the allegations concerning his institution by halting all processes and setting up an investigation panel.
The focus and searchlight this time around is on the ECOWAS Court that is assumed should be above board but our investigation reveals that the ECOWAS Court also was implicated in the series of petitions awaiting the attention of the new management of the ECOWAS Commission.
Our investigation further reveal that in the recruitment of the Chief Registrar of the Court, some internal candidates particularly the current Deputy Chief Registrar who have served the Court for well over ten or more years was deliberately sideline and not invited to take part in the interview, nor given the right or opportunity to contest for the post of the Chief Registrar despite applying for the position.
In a related development, we reliably gather that some Nigerians and other Nationals who have served the Court for over six or more years were orally laid off in some departments of the Court to create room for the management to recruit their own designated candidates in the forthcoming recruitment already planned by the management of the Court.
Also of interest is the recently appointed of Senior professional Staff positions in the Registry of the Court without advertisement for competition or interview procedure but rather a handpicked appointment by the head of the institution contrary to the laid down ECOWAS regulations for Recruitment into such positions.
More disturbing is the petition before the Commission on the allegation of conflict of interest in which we gathered the President of the Court allegedly sat in a decision to appoint his Executive Assistant into a Senior Research Position over a more qualified Nigerian who has been acting in that capacity for sometime now.
Further investigation revealed that most of the staff of the Court have been stagnated in terms of promotion for years while a few who are in the good book of the management enjoy all the benefits of favoured incentives like missions and internal promotion.
We recently also gathered that the ECOWAS Court management is planning to move the sit of the Court to Gudu area of Abuja FCT by September despite safety and security concerns been raised by the Staff over the porous and security risk assessment of the area as a flash piont for criminality.
Just like the President of the Parliament was proactive in setting up an investigation panel into the allegations levelled against them, it is hope the management of the Court will also address all the above stated concerns to ensure that Justice is done and a fair level playing ground and opportunities is created for every one without discrimination on any ground.
However, it will be good for the New President of the Commission and his management team will as a matter of urgency attend to all the petitions before them on the allegations of discriminatory and violation of regulations on staff Recruitment procedures on case by case basis to ensure that justice is done in order not to affect the moral and commitment of the ECOWAS Staff of all institutions to their duty to the community.