My Ordeal of Unjust Dismissal by IRC- Onyekelueze

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A humanitarian organisation, International Rescue Committee, IRC, has been accused of injustice by its former employee, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Onyekelueze, for unjust dismissal and violation of her human right.

Onyekelueze who was employed by IRC Nigeria on April 25, 2014, as operation officer said her ordeal started after she narrowly escaped the deadly attack by Boko Haram on Mubi, where she was working, and trekked to Yola, the Adamawa State capital for safety.

Onyekelueze said: “I was employed to work for IRC Nigeria on 25th April 2014 as the operation officer while seconding as admin /HR in their Mubi office in Adamawa State.

“On 23 January, 2015, while at work, I received a call from the Abuja office, that the Country Director, Sarah Ndikumana, want to see me, I went to my supervisor, Hassan Coulibali, to confirm and he only told me that he has no email to that effect, but if the CD wants to see me, I should go, and while still speaking with my supervisor, I received a text message, containing my flight ticket to Abuja.

“The flight was to leave within the next 20mins and immediately I had to leave for the airport. I went to our Abuja office, where the Country Director, Sarah Ndikumana, told me that there were allegations of fraud against me that I have been pulled out of Yola to enable the management carry out investigation.

“I later got a suspension letter that read procurement irregularities and no more fraud as the CD told me earlier on. In my suspension letter, I was told not to communicate with any of IRC staff, suppliers, and service providers for the period of two or three weeks which it was expected the investigation will be concluded.

“The investigation ended up lasting for two months and three days; the Country Director, Sarah, equally asked that I should not be paid for two months I stayed off office after I reported religiously to her every Friday and believing that as a big humanitarian organisation as IRC, they will ensure fairness and justice in the matter,” she stated.

According to her the outcome of the investigation was never made known to her, whether there was actual fraud as claimed by the management.

“I have not been asked about anything since the investigation till date, what happened to the spirit of fair hearing? Even if I will be convicted, I deserved to be heard. Is this the IRC way that we were all thought?

“I sensed some conspiracy on how the investigation was conducted. And I asked within me whether there was a panel set up for such investigation? Which management staff made up the panel? Where are the staff.

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