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Crisis looms at FRIN over appointment of new DG, as Rights Group petitions Buhari, calls for reversal

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Crisis looms at FRIN over appointment of new DG, as Rights Group petitions Buhari, calls for reversal

Crisis now looms at the Federal Research Institute of Nigeria over the appointment of Dr Zacharia Buba Yarduma as Director General of Rights Group under the aegis of Concerned Group has petitioned Muhammadu Buhari, thereby calling for the reversal of action.

The group, in a petition, has called on Mr President to reverse it before his final exit from office on the 28th of May this year.

In a petition addressed to President Buhari and signed by Comrades Kelvin Onaolapo and Wasiu Olatiregun, the President and Secretary, respectively, and copied to the National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives), Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Department of State Security (DSS), Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Media, the group said the appointment failed anything that could be described as moral, just and fair.

Titled ‘Criminal Subversion of Due Process in the Appointment of New Director-General for Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Ibadan- A Petition,’ the group alleged that “as the President’s tenure winds down, it is very sad to note that some of your aides are so obsessed with their selfish and parochial interest that they care less about your highly cherished value of integrity and discipline with their reckless and unconscionable last minute actions that would woefully fail any form of credibility scrutiny.”

Alleging the ambush of the appointment process put in place by the management of the Institute in which “all the efforts consigned to the waste bin with the acclaimed back-door appointment of Dr. Zacharia Buba Yaduma as the new FRIN DG,” the group contended that the said appointment was “in flagrant violation of the extant law and any known principle of decency, integrity, discipline, and morality.

“Here is a man who is not a research scientist, and there’s no record of his application for the post during the window of the application, not to talk of being shortlisted for an interview, and no interview was conducted anywhere. What a criminal subversion of due process and a lopsided, reckless, and impudent appointment”? The group exclaimed.

The group insisted that by the appointment, caution was thrown to the winds and due process served to the dogs on the altar of impunity and lack of consideration for the feelings of fellow beings, recalling that President Buhari’s administration was reputed to have made history in the Institute with the provision of the legal framework through the 2018 FRIN Establishment Act.

The Act, according to the group, “enables research scientists of the Institute to adopt Professorial Cadre and since the coming into being of the Act in 2018, no fewer than six Research Scientists had been promoted to the Professorial Cadre and many Associate Research Scientist Professors produced. Section 6 (2) of the same Act stipulates that a Research Scientist Professor should head the Institute.

“A layman’s interpretation of the law quoted above is that a non-scientist researcher has no business aspiring to lead the Institute, just as Professors from the Universities are also excluded. And with in-house six Research Scientist Professors and many Associate Research Scientist Professors, the group noted that FRIN has no dearth of qualified and legally sanctioned personnel to lead the place”.

While asking Mr. President to do an urgent reversal of what was described as an illegal and criminal act and allow the appointment process already set in motion to be completed, the group maintained that “it is only by that that morale would not be killed, hard work would not be discouraged and industrial unrest would not be incubated”, adding, “a stitch in time saves nine.”

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