By Chukwuemeka Opara
Abakaliki – The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), in Ebonyi has suspended its Chairman, Mr Ikechukwu Nwafor, indefinitely “for gross misconduct and financial misappropriation.’’
The 2nd Vice Chairman of the congress, Mr Leonard Nkah, was named Acting Chairman.
These decisions were reached at the end of its State Executive Council (SEC), meeting held in Abakaliki on Wednesday.
The communiqué was signed by the meeting’s Presiding Officer and First Vice Chairman, Mr Abel Ngwuta and Acting State Secretary, Mr Chukwuma Onwe.
According to the communiqué, Nwafor was suspended for failure to account for all the monthly stipends and subventions received on behalf of the congress from the State Government and other sources.
“He failed to account for all the monies received in respect of Democracy Day, Independence Anniversary and Workers Day celebrations, among others.
“He failed to account for all the monies received in respect of Ezillo Peace Tree Planting and failure to account for the proceeds to NLC from the government’s donation of four commuter/mass transit buses with additional N2million.” They said.
They added that Nwafor openly informed the governor that the motion, which directed public servants to embark on strike over the N18,000, was moved by Nkah, Chairman of the State branch of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE).
“This was intended to make Nkah a sacrificial lamb/scapegoat instead of owning up to the collective decision of the entire SEC of the congress.
“He also tried, though unsuccessfully, to poison the mind of the State Head of Service (HOS) not to recognize the leadership of the Public Service Negotiating Council (SJPSNC), Trade Union Side (TUS) under the pretext that he was not invited to the council’s election that produced them.
“He used his privileged office to witch-hunt and oppress leaders of industrial unions such as NULGE, Nigerian Union of Teachers, National Union of Road Transport Workers, among others despite being stakeholders and leaders of their respective affiliate unions’’, they added.”
The SEC in the communiqué said “Nwafor ceases to represent the congress as chairman while he faces full investigations.
“He is hereby directed to surrender all congress properties and monies in his possession to the acting chairman within seven days.”
Nwafor told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), that he was studying the situation and would respond soon.