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Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB)

Okewu’s Secondment: NAAPE raises questions on Abali’s involvement

THE secondment of Mr. Benjamin Okewu from the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) to the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB)   is still generating ripples as the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) have raised questions over what it considers a violation to the Public Service Rules (PSR)

Mr. Okewu, the Air Transport Senior Staff Services (ATSSSAN) National President  was seconded from NCAT’s Planning department to the Human Resources department of the AIB without adherence to the Public Service Rules (PSR) as alleged by NAAPE.

The statement signed by the association’s Secretary, Ocheme Abba asked if the commissioner is competent to single-handedly promote Mr. Okewu without the indices established by the Public Service Rules (PSR) with regards to writing any promotion examination.

Dr. Felix Abali AIB Commissioner
Dr. Felix Abali AIB Commissioner

Or if a public servant seconded for a particular competency be unilaterally moved to another area of competence without questioning his competence to perform on the new assignment where he /she has no experience whatsoever.

NAAPE stated that the petition it wrote to the ministry is a matter clearly established by the Public Service Rules (PSR) which is a public document. According to NAAPE, the PSR supports its position.

NAAPE further asked,” Did the AIB declare any vacancy in the HR department? Did the AIB fill such vacancy, if declared in the manner prescribed by the PSR? Did AIB carry out the promotion of Benjamin Okewu in compliance with the PSR? Did he write any promotion examination? Is the commissioner competent to single-handedly carry out such promotion?”

“Can a public servant who is seconded for a particular competency be unilaterally moved to another area of competence? What about the person’s competence in the new area? “

NAAPE further asked how the Consolidated Tertiary Education Institution Salary Structure (CONTENDIS) applies to Mr. Okewu who is a non-academic staff.

“How does CONTENDIS apply to non-academic staff, or is Mr. Benjamin Okewu an academic staff of NCAT? Where does the two-year period for the secondment stand in the present circumstance or has it been jettisoned? “

“Considering the admonition by the Federal Ministry of Transportation that the PSR rules guiding secondment must be adhered to strictly in this particular case, can anyone convince anyone that the sanctity of the PSR remains intact?”

NAAPE also reacted to a statement from the AIB currently in the media also that it does not owe the Bureau any apology for suggesting to the Federal Government that the agency needs a competent hand to handle its affairs.

The union further made known in its statement that it is within the association’s right to suggest to the Federal government how to proceed in the agency and slammed claims by the management of AIB, stating that it is being used to ‘forcefully’ remove the commissioner, Dr. Felix Abali.

NAAPE’s statement read,”First off, it is well within the rights of NAAPE to offer suggestions to the Federal Government on how to progress the AIB. Such suggestion does not exclude the need to have the Bureau managed by competent hands.”

“Therefore, NAAPE does not owe anyone any apology should it consider offering such suggestions. We are therefore bemused by insinuations that NAAPE is being used by certain forces to ‘forcefully’ remove the AIB commissioner, as if NAAPE leadership is kindergarten and cannot think for itself.”

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