Muhammad Babandede, Comptroller General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has directed that the earlier ‘graveyard’ postings of some female personnel in viral video be put on hold.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports Babandede made this known in a statement on Friday, revealing that an investigation had since commenced on the matter involving the female personnel.
Recall that the leaked documents have revealed the female immigration officers in the #DontRushChallenge video were punished with ‘graveyard’ postings.
The female personnel of the NIS, five of them, were written up for misconduct after appearing in the video that went viral.
The officers were posted from their places of assignment in Abuja, Lagos and Enugu and given “graveyard” assignments as far afield as Borno, Kano and Yobe.
It will also be recalled that following their appearance in the viral #DontRushChallenge video, Priscilla Irabor, Catherine J. Bakura, Blessing Alfred Udida, Binti I. Attabor and Ockiya Eneni were the subject of a disciplinary memo dated April 15, 2020.
The memo, which found its way into the public space sparked vocal condemnation and protests from civil society organisations, human rights lawyers and the general public.
Pop artist “Falz The Bahd Guy” whose song was used in the video even offered his help to the female officers, raising hopes that they would not be victimised for what many saw as harmless fun that merely portrayed the NIS in a human light.
These hopes were when a leaked official NIS memo showed that the five officers had been handed punitive and discriminatory postings.
The leaked memo confirmed that Priscilla Irabor was transferred from the Lagos State Command to the Nigeria Immigration Training School, Kano (ITSK), while Binti Attabor was posted from the service headquarters in Abuja to the Yobe State Command.
Catherine Bakura was moved from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja to the Nigeria Immigration Training School Ahoada, Rivers State, while Blessing Alfred Udida was moved from the FCT Command to the Akwa Ibom State Command. Finally, Ockiya Eneni was transferred from the CERPAC (Combined Expatriate Residence Permit and Aliens Card) Production facility to the Borno State Command.
The leaked memo had also outlined a secondary punitive measure, which is that the relocation will be done at the personal expense of the officers involved, and they were given just 7 days to report at their new places of assignment.
According to the statement announcing the suspension of the ‘graveyard’ postings, the matter involving the five female officers is still being investigated, and not concluded yet.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Comptroller General Muhammad Babandede MFR has been drawn to some trending matters on some social media platforms regarding the deployment of some of our Personnel to some Formations across the country.
“It is important to note that staff deployment remains a vital practice of regimented organizations such as ours and should be seen as such. As an agency, we maintain zero tolerance to any matters bordering on offences against discipline among members of our workforce irrespective of gender.
“We have high premium for staff development and indeed encourage personal efforts but that must be within the confines of our rules and regulations.
“The matter involving the Personnel in question is still being investigated and therefore,the Comptroller General has directed that the earlier Posting Order be put on hold pending the conclusion of the investigation”.