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Couple, NRCRI management bicker over official residence, reposting

A couple, Venerable Onyemechi Aniedu  and his wife, Dr. Chinyere Aniedu, both Assistant Directors at the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, Abia State. Photo: venturesafrica

A couple, Venerable Onyemechi Aniedu  and his wife, Dr. Chinyere Aniedu, both Assistant Directors at the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI), Umudike, Abia State have separately levelled accusations of alleged illegal breaking into their official residence and malicious reposting against the Institute’s management led by the acting Executive Director (AED), Prof. Ukpabi Joseph Ukpabi.

Aniedu in his petition to the AED dated October 17, 2017 entitled: “ Breaking into my Quarters located at No 5 Eze Abel Egesie Road in NRCRI premises on October 12, 2017”,  accused the AED of directing the Institute’s House Allocation Committee headed by Dr. John Emeka Ohaeri to break into his official residence, stating that during the break-in, his family property worth over N8 million were carted away into the Institute’s Store and the sum of  $6,600 cash was lost.

Also his wife, in her separate petition to the same AED, dated December 12, 2017 and entitled “Harassment and Malicious Posting “ , similarly accused the AED of maliciously reposting her on November 28, 2017  to the  NRCRI Externally Funded Project  EFP Office after she returned from her sabbatical leave, stating that her reposting rendered her redundant under a director.

Mrs. Aniedu further accused the AED of neglecting the seniority order used in running the public service and disrespecting the female folks of the institute among others.

She corroborated her husband’s petition that their official residence was broken into and their property carted away therefrom.

Both sent copies of their memos to the NRCRI and the Executive Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), Abuja, who oversees NRCRI among others.

Responding to Aniedu’s accusations and allegations, the Acting Executive Director, Prof Ukpabi in a memo to Aniedu dated 18 October 18, 2017, denied accusations and allegations stating “ as the Acting Executive Director, I never sent anybody to cart away your family personal belongings in NRCRI. I have forwarded your petition on this matter to ARCN Abuja”.

Ukpabi told The Guardian that Aniedu’s residence “has not been revoked.” He is still paying for it in accordance with the terms”.

On Mrs. Aniedu’s, accusation and allegations, Ukpabi said her reposting was neither punitive nor malicious.

According to him, the reposting affected over 300 workers. The Chairman of the House Allocation Committee, Dr Ohaeri told The Guardian that the AED did not instruct his Committee to break into Aniedu’s residence.

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