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DSS set quiz foreign nationals over alleged maltreatment of Nigerian port workers, abuse of expatriate quotas

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The management of the Directorate of State Security Service (DSS) is set to begin probe into the activities of some foreign nationals believed to be concessionaires operating the popular Lagos Tin Can port in Lagos.

The management of the Directorate of State Security Service (DSS) is set to begin probe into the activities of some foreign nationals believed to be concessionaires operating the popular Lagos Tin Can port in Lagos.

DSS operatives
DSS operatives

The move followed a petition to security agencies from right advocacy group, the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice (CHRSJ) who had on Monday 8th of October, 2018 written a petition to them (security agencies) alleging series of human rights abuses and fragrant disobedient to extant laws of the country by the management of two companies at the port.

In the petition signed by the Executive Chairman of CHRSJ, Comrade Adeniyi A, Sulaiman, the group accused the owners of two firms, Tin Can Island Container Terminal Limited (TICT) and APM Terminals of unbridled human right abuses in their operations.

The group described the location of the two firms to be at Terminal ‘B’ Tin Can, Port Complex, 1/3 Point Road, Apapa; and Wharf Road, Apapa, also in Lagos with a call on President Muhammadu Buhari to compel investigations into how the monthly N3b subvention is utilized by the affected companies, saying CHRSJ has evidence of gross mismanagement of the said funds.

The group also sent copies of the petition to the Inspector-General of Police, the Director-General of the Directorate of State Security Services (DSS); Ministers in charge of the ministries of Labour, Interior as well as the Committees of the lower legislative chambers on Labour and Employment, Interior and Maritime.

Others copied by the group in the petition were the chairmen of the committees on Public Petitions, Privilege and Ethics at both chambers of the National Assembly as well as Nigeria’s embassies in France, China and India for prompt action in the country of accreditation.

According to the group, officials of the two companies who are liable for sanction are the following, the Operations Manager of TICT, Mr. Yann Magarian (08066273552), Commercial Manager of the same company, Mr. Kapur Pawan (08063996876) and another official by name, Mr. Etienne Rocher (08030630399), the Human Resources Manager, Mrs. Juliet Ikemefuna (08023141634 & 08141381169) as well as a leader of the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria, Comrade Adeyanju (08067667760 & 08022906505).

He listed officials of APM who have also stand accused of violating the laws of the country to include, members of the board, managing director, human resources manager, operation manager and the commercial manager.

However in a statement issued on Saturday, Sulaiman stated that he has received series of calls from the office of the Director-General of the agency in Abuja intimating the group in series of phone calls between Monday, 19th of November 2018 till December 29th that the agency has commenced investigation into the matter with a view to arresting those involved.

“We have received series of calls from one unidentified officer of the DSS who claimed to be a staff of the Investigative and Intelligence Department (08031852411). He (the DSS officer) expressed the willingness of personnel to relocate to Lagos with a view to unravel the veracity of our claims.” Sulaiman stated.

Sulaiman has also alleged victimisation of workers in the two affected firms with a call on the management of the two companies to desist, saying the continued sack of innocent workers would not in anyway help the companies.

”We have discovered that a worker, Mr. Akemo Daniels with staff identification number of 490631 who until he was sacked on 10th of December 2018 was a personnel attached to the OPS/Plant Department in TICT, Apapa Lagos was illegally sacked based on his advocacy for good corporate governance on the company. He is yet another victim in the elaborate fraudulent schemes being carried out by the company.” He said.

According to CHRSJ, the largest shareholder in one of the firms, TICT, Mr. Vincent Bollore was in April 2018 arrested for series of infractions of the law that had been committed by his company in some West African countries.

He stated that Bolloré, who is the head of the Bolloré Group, was arrested as part of an ongoing investigation into how his company obtained contracts to operate the Lome and Conakry ports in Togo and Guinea respectively.

“We are hoping that the DSS would very thorough in its investigation as we are very convinced that a lot of infractions have been committed against the Nigerian laws by these foreign nationals. We are also using this medium to express our desire to cooperate with the DSS with a view to ensuring that all wrongs that have been committed against the people of Nigeria are redressed.” Sulaiman concluded.

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