The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), a civil society organisation (CSO), has asked Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, to reinstate Murtala Ibrahim, an internal auditor of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
On May 8, Ibrahim was dismissed after he exposed a doctored financial report in FMBN.
In a statement on Monday, Chido Onumah, coordinator of AFRICMIL, alleged that the FMBN made up the report to deceive Fashola whose ministry supervises the bank.
Onumah said Fashola was “shamelessly taken for a ride by the management of FMBN”.
He referred the minister to a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) report which vindicated the audit group that there was indeed no profit contrary to the report of the stated period submitted by the bank’s management.
The coordinator said where the FMBN merely reported a loss, the CBN report the figure at N7 billion.
“The finance and accounts group of the bank reported a surplus of income over expenditure to the tune of N423,653, 187, but on investigation by the internal audit group where Mr Ibrahim served as deputy head, it was discovered that the report was doctored and that the so-called profit was fraudulent. They found out that what ought to have been declared was a loss and not a profit,” the statement read.
“We request Mr Fashola to look critically at that CBN report and he would discover that not only was he shamelessly taken for a ride, the management of FMBN also went on to unlawfully sack an officer who was only carrying out his duties in an honest and professional manner.
“The cruel treatment of Ibrahim by FMBN has again brought to the fore the recurring victimisation of officers who report wrongdoings in government offices. The persistent victimisation in any form of those who are courageous enough to blow the whistle must not be tolerated if the whistleblower policy of this administration must succeed.
“We have said it repeatedly that whistleblowers deserve nothing more than full protection as this will further encourage accountability and enrich the right of the public to know.”