Three years after former Executive Commissioner of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Bashir Gwandu was fired, the presidency has denied he was sacked for blowing the whistle on underhand deals in waivers granted some telecom companies as claimed.
Following his sack in 2012, Gwandu had approached the National Industrial Court (NIC) which declared his removal as illegal. Gwandu, through his lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), challenged the propriety of his removal from the NCC by President Goodluck Jonathan.
However, a letter obtained from the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, with reference 6/S.12/C.4/III/653 dated November 26, 2012, signed by Secretary to the Federal Government, Senator Pius Anyim, indicates that the former commissioner was fired for “gross misconduct with effect from November 9, 2012.”
“There had been heated campaigns in social media and online news portals by a section of the media to undermine the position of the Presidency on the matter. This is rather unfortunate because Gwandu knows the truth, he was given fair hearing and he cannot now turn round to claim he was witch-hunted. If this is how he wants to curry favour from the incoming government, we wish him well but he must not discredit the institution of the Presidency for his personal ambition,” Vanguard quoted an unnamed presidency official to have said.
The SGF’s letter reads: “Please recall that series of allegations were levelled against you by the Board of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC. Recall also that the Minister of Communication Technology, on behalf of Mr. President, set up a Disciplinary Committee.
“I am to note that during the course of investigation, you were invited to appear before the committee to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against you for gross misconduct. You may recall that you made both verbal and written submissions to the Committee, in your defence. I am to inform you that based on the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee, Mr. President has approved your removal from office for gross misconduct with effect from 9th November 2012. By this letter you are to return all the properties of the Commission in your possession and hand over to the Executive Vice Chairman.”
Gwandu is believed to be lobbying for the position of Minister of Communication Technology in the new the incoming administration.