The Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) has called on the Federal Civil Service to protect a whistleblower, Mr. Richard Oghenerhoro.
In a statement issued on August 11, 22022, CWPPF said it regards the disciplinary action against the petitioner, Mr. Oghenerhoro, for alleged breach of oath of secrecy, and unauthorised disclosure of official information, as a ridiculous attempt to stifle freedom of expression and a total disregard for the 2016 whistleblowers policy.
The statement signed, by Mrs. Stephanie O. Adams-Douglas, said “This is one among numerous cases of violations and stigmatisation of whistleblowers since the policy was introduced by the Federal Government in 2016 as a strategy to curb corruption in Nigeria.”
“Whistleblowing is an important tool for fighting corruption. Mr Oghenehoro’s disclosure is timely and important considering the recent report about delisting 70,000 ghost workers in the Federal Civil Service.
“You would think that a government that lays so much emphasis on fighting corruption would be appreciative of citizens who are willing to expose irregularities and corruption in the public interest.”
CWPPF has taken up cases of victimisation of whistleblowers over the years and has demanded that Mr Oghenehoro be protected, reinstated, and appreciated for exposing irregularities and weak employment data systems in the Federal Civil Service rather than focus on the petition.
The Coalition condemned the disciplinary actions against Mr Oghenehoro and called for the immediate withdrawal of the punitive actions to boost citizens’ confidence in reporting irregularities that put the country in danger.
It vowed to continue to oppose all forms of attacks on human rights and press freedom in Nigeria and across the world and to hold the government, individuals, and organizations accountable.
The group said it will continue to take the necessary measures to prevent violence against journalists and media workers and will also fiercely demand accountability and bring perpetrators of crimes against journalists and media workers to justice.
The Coalition for Whistleblower Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) is a group of 18 media and civil society organisations committed to upholding democracy and good governance by protecting the ethos of whistleblowing, freedom of expression and press freedom.