A civil rights organisation, the Coalition of Civil Society Groups in Nigeria, on Wednesday embarked on a solemn protest to the Ministry of Science and Technology in Abuja protesting against the sack of the former acting Director General of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi FIIRO Lagos, Dr Chima Igwe. The protesters described the sack as illegal.
The Chairman of the coalition, Comrade Ayodeji Emmanuel, who led others while speaking at entrance of the Ministry called on the Minister of Science and technology, Dr Ogbonaya Onu to immediately relieve the newly appointed ag DG of the Institute, Dr Yemisi Asagbra of her appointment, accusing her and some management team members, of being responsible for the crisis, which has rocked the Institute over the past few months.
According to Ayodeji, the sacking of the Igwe and his subsequent replacement by the governing board of the Institute violates every principles of justice, equity and fairness as he asserted, that Chima Igwe has been previously subjected to several investigations by the Ministry and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offenses Commission ICPC in the past, and given a clean bill of health.
Recall that the sacked ag DG, Chima Igwe has been embroiled in controversies surrounding his Doctorate degree, which the Unions at the Institute alleged, that he never possessed. This led to several investigations and series of Industrial action and the most recent being another pronouncement by the ICPC, which the governing board of the Institute, based its decision to sack Igwe upon.
A petition to the minister, Senate Committee on Science and technology, Secretary to the government of the federation and others were later by the group.
The group further demanded a probe into the activities of the Unions who were involved in crisis, and an alleged underhand dealing between the new ag DG of Institute, Yemisi Asagbra and some officials of the Lagos office of the ICPC.
It also asked the Federal government to confirm Chima Igwe, as the substantive Director General of the Institute, as it described his as a competent and transparent administrator, whose record are viable enough to provide quality leadership to FIIRO.