By Ihegazie Chidinma
Some aggrieved staffers of the Ministry of Interior, have petitioned the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed over collosal revenue losses due to the alleged sabotage by the Director of Citizenship and Business Department, C & D, Mrs. Moremi Soyinka-Onilaja.
In a seven-page petition dated March 29, 2022 and jointly signed by Femi Adewale, Jimoh Abdulkarim Sule and Ikenna Maurice on behalf of others, the concerned staff members, accused the director of turning operations of the department upside down for pecuniary gains.
Specifically, they alleged that files that supposed to be treated within eight weeks are now being delayed for about eight months, adding that business permit applications are processed after gratification and bribe to the officers in charge.
The petitioners, therefore, appealed to the Minister of Finance to rescue the Ministry of Interior from collosal revenue losses arising from alleged misdemeanour of Soyinka-Onilaja, who they said is an untouchable director in the ministry.
The petition, titled: “The Rots Within: The Fraudulent Maneuvers of Barr. (Mrs) Moremi Soyinka- Onijala and Her Collaborators In The Federal Ministry Of Interior” reads in part: “Events of the last two years in the Department of Citizenship and Business in the Ministry of Interior, have brought the ministry under serious negative glare.
“The principal character in this theatre of the absurd is Mrs. Moremi Soyinka-Onijala, the Director in charge of Citizenship and Business Department, (C&D) at the Federal Ministry of Interior FMI, who has deliberately refused to process and forward mountains of applications for expatriate quota/business permit for approvals, except and until after robust gratification from frustrated and highly embittered applicants.
“Since her cruel and vicious scheme began about two years ago, it has been a season of unending delays, one of her core signature antics, thereby resulting in a pile of untreated applications with negative impact on inflow of foreign direct investment into the country, a core priority of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
“Mrs. Soyinka-Onijala’s interests as a civil servant conflict with that of her employer over revenue collection and usage.
“In a more detestably scandalous manner, payments are deposited into different accounts created for the purpose instead of REMITA/TSA, prompting stakeholders and Ministry staff to wonder why she has been left unsanctioned.
“With this array of irregularities and impunity, the director’s actions and inactions are not only stifling the rule of law, but an unmitigated recipe for criminality and outright disregard for laid out rules and regulations.
“Unfortunately, she has the backing of the high and mighty in the ministry.”
When contacted in her office on Friday last week, to react to issues raised in the petition, the director, who interfaced with our reporter through her Secretary, Bukky Akanbi became evasive by first claiming to be in a marathon management meeting with the Permanent Secretary and other directors in the ministry.
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