The report submitted by the Nigerian National Maritime Authority (NNMA)’s panel that probed the case of forgery against Mohammed Bashir Saidu, Chief of Staff to Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai, in 2000, had actually recommended his dismissal from the Agency.
Saidu, until his appointment as Chief of staff to the Kaduna state Governor, had served in the Kaduna State Civil Service, the Nigeria Maritime Authority, and recently as the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in the state.
In an attempt to unveil the circumstances surrounding his alleged forged service records, the NMA had in the report, marked section 1-3 dated November, 2000, noted that; “The Director-General, on the recommendation of the Administration and Personnel Service Department, approved the constitution of a disciplinary committee to investigate and recommend appropriate measures to the management on the allegations and complaints of gross violation of service rules and procedures in respect of the appointment and promotion of Mr. M.B Saidu in the Authority.”
The setting up of the panel, comprising Y A Suleiman (DAPs), V. A Jaule, B. O Igwe, DOC, A. M Makarfi , AD (PL) as Chairman, Members and Secretary respectively, was meant to probe the double promotion of Saidu from Principal Commercial Officer on grade 12 to Chief Commercial Officer – GL.14 by the then Director of Administration and Personal Service Alhaji L B Rumah.
According to the report, “This generated tension and unfolded controversies resulting from grudges registered by some aggrieved colleagues of Saidu, more so, as there was an earlier petition way back in 1994 against Saidu, employment in NMA for having been dismissed from Kaduna State Service.
“Under the circumstances, the Administration and Personnel Service Department conducted a preliminary investigation and consequently recommended to the Director General a thorough investigation into the matter to determine the circumstances surrounding the officer’s employment and progression in NMA’’.
In the report, presented in three sections, the panel met three times initially to consider and review the case, “During the sessions, the Committee interviewed Mr Saidu, and officers suspected to be involved in the case. it was established that MR. Saidu, left the Service of Kaduna State in an unusual and abnormal circumstance resulting from disciplinary problem he had.
“Discrepancies in forms of misrepresentation of facts and conflicting submissions were found in the officer’s record particularly on the issue of the nature and mode of his disengagement from his previous job and the officer’s oral testimonies are relevant references.
“The Purported Kaduna State Civil Service Commission letter reference CSC/STAFF/N.19827/VOL.1/112, dated 16th December, 1998 in respect of the officer is a confirmed case of forgery”.
The Committee’s report further notes, “During its interview with Mr. Saidu, he testified that it was a better option for him to take a fresh appointment as it would give him more service period having already put in over 15 years with the state. He also implied nursing the ideal of Kaduna state and NMA contributing to his pension at the end of his (second) service. The committee viewed this as manifestation and confirmation of the officer’s fraudulent instinct”.
Having arrived at the decision that there are sufficient proofs that Saidu had tempered with his service records, the report concludes, “The Committee has sufficiently established case against the officer for having been involved in fraudulent activities which include forgery , false declarations and concealing vital and relevant information regarding his past employment record. The Committee therefore recommends that the officer (MR. M. B Saidu) be dismissed from the service of the National Maritime Authority in public interest and industrial harmony.”