Our attention has been drawn to an article published in the African Confidential with the above title. The article seeks to misinform and mislead the general public on the decision made by President Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR), the President and Commander in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to terminate the services of Ferdinand Giadom as Project Coordinator of HYPREP. The reports of misappropriation of public funds earmarked for the clean-up of contaminated sites in Ogoniland and for the improvement of the livelihood of the Ogoni people were too grievous for the President to tolerate, hence he gave a directive that his services were no longer required. It is unbelievable, shocking, and unprofessional that a reputable online news media like African Confidential, could not verify facts from authorized government sources before publishing news of this sort.
The article stated that Giadom was removed because he was preventing improper contracts from being issued. This statement is a blatant lie from the pit of hell. In fact, the procurement commenced in October 2022 and was initiated by Dr Giadom himself, so the allegation of rushing the procurement process is far from the truth and a figment of the imagination of the writer. Dr. Giadom signed the procurement proposals and submitted them to the Honorable Minister of Environment for approval before processing them at the Bureau of Public Procurement for review and due diligence and, then, to the Federal Executive Council for approval. All the contracts from HYPREP awarded in 2023 by the Federal Executive Council were processed by Giadom. He, Giadom, also mobilized some contractors to site without any contract in place or with the knowledge and consent of the Honorable Minister of Environment, who is the Chairman of the HYPREP Governing Council. Giadom perfected a method of siphoning public funds through multiple community sensitization events at inflated costs. He was issued three (3) written queries to explain his misconduct, and none of his responses were satisfactory. The Ministry is willing and ready to confirm the above facts by having a face to face interaction
On the issue of re-deployment/posting of officers in Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), it is a normal routine/ practice within the Federal Service system, and should not be interpreted as a witch hunt.
On the appointment of Prof. Nenibarini Zabbey as the new Project Coordinator of HYPREP, the appointment was made in accordance with the provision of Government Gazette setting up HYPREP. Prof. Zabbey was amongst the candidates that were shortlisted and interviewed, following the advertisement in Nigeria and international news papers of the vacancy for the position of Project Coordinator. The Gazettee has provision for the appointment of a successful candidate for an initial period of four (4) years and renewal on credible performance, for a second period of four (4) years. Thus, the advertisement has a valid period of eight (8) years for the shortlisted and interviewed candidates.
In connection with Giadom’s appeal, an emergency meeting of the HYPREP Governing Council was held on May 9, 2023, and the Council aligned with the decision taken on his termination and has determined that his services are no longer required.