Why Nigeria’s Labour Minister, Ngige Pounced On, And Physically Assaulted Me —Ex-CEO, Akabogu
Michael Akabogu, the former Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), has accused Dr. Chris Ngigi, Minister of Labour and Employment, of physically assaulting him.
Akabogu also alleged that Ngige threatened to kill him for refusing to sign a document that would allow the minister to purchase property for the NSITF without following the proper procurement process.
The former NSITF boss, who was sacked in February by President Muhammadu Buhari following his alleged forgery of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) Discharge Certificate, revealed this in a letter addressed to the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, dated March 13 and received by the anti-graft agency on April 25, 2023.
Mr Akabogu alleged that Ngige physically assaulted him and threatened to take his life because of his refusal to get involved in the unlawful procurement of property for NSITF.
He accused the minister of injuring him during the assault and boasting that no court proceedings could be brought against him as a minister because he has enough connections to ensure his exoneration.
He said, “On Sunday the 28th day of August, 2022, the Hon. Minister (Ngige) invited me to his residence to sign
“The Hon. Minister further said to me that whatever evidence I believe I have against him is worthless, and, that as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he has enough connections to deal ruthlessly with me and ensure that I rot in prison.”
The former NSITF boss also alleged that the minister with the aid of Mrs. Ijeoma Okoronkwo, General Manager, Corporate Affairs/former Board Secretary; and Mrs. Joyce Akponor, Deputy Director of Procurement, awarded procurement contracts worth over N200 million to companies that are linked to him (minister).
The letter continued: “The former Board of the NSITF at its 72nd meeting resolved on action points 32 and 33 that ‘Production of prosthesis to be handled by the Hospital to reduce cost of procurement process’. The Executive Director Operation – Mr. Modu Gana was directed by the Board to ensure proper compliance with this Board Resolution.
“The Hon. Minister through DD Procurement and GM Corporate Affairs (Mrs. Joyce Akponor and Mrs. Ijeoma Okoronkwo) sought “No Objection/Selective Tendering” for the project and handed the production of the prosthesis to two of the companies which the Hon. Minister uses for various contracts execution namely Ampresh Services Limited and EB-Electrical Engineering Services Ltd. These two companies went to same manufacturer Messrs Suntech for the production of the prosthesis.”
“Regardless of all concerns on the over-bloated cost of the production, while I was on leave and despite a standing instruction that every payment must be approved by me prior to release, the Hon. Minister through his ally, Mrs. Maureen Allagoa (MD/CE of NSITF/former Executive Director (ED) Administration) made the final payment in the sum of N132,326,938.10 and N73,370,555.44 to Ampresh Services Limited and EB-Electrical Engineering Services Ltd,” the letter added.