Human Rights Group Warns Communications Minister On Former Aide

Adebayo Shittu
Barrister Adebayo Shittu

FOLLOWING the exposition of alleged servitude to which the Minister of Communications, Barrister Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, subjected his former Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Victor Oluwadamilare, an allegation of threat to life on the estranged Minister’s aide, has been raised.

Speaking on behalf of Oluwadamilare in a press statement signed and made available to journalists on Monday by Dapo Olaosebikan and Akin Orimolade, president and secretary-general for Journalists for Justice (JFJ) respectively, an Abuja-based human rights group, revealed that since the release of his open letter to the Minister, demanding for his outstanding salaries and allowances of more than two years, he has been receiving strange telephone calls.

It would be recalled that the veteran journalist recently released a letter that went viral in which he accused the Minister of insensitivity, inhuman and callousness occasioned by non-payment of salaries and allowances to him and other aides since their engagement in 2015.

JFJ also revealed that Oluwadamilare, a former NUJ chairman in Oyo State, has continuously been receiving threat-calls after an attempt by the visibly rattled and embattled minister to counter issues raised in the former aide’s letter fell flat as they were utterly left unattended to and the minister instead engaged in grandstanding, abuse and legal threat.

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Based on information at the disposal of the Human Rights organization, it said that it is calling on the Federal Government and the general public that it is aware that Oluwadamilare is being trailed by some unknown persons. And it has it on good authority that Oluwadamilare’s life may be in danger.

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In the release, JFJ equally maintained that it has decided to put this unwarranted situation and information in the public domain so that if anything untoward happens to Oluwadamilare, it will not be difficult to trace the source.

Furthermore, JFJ states that it will continue to encourage Oluwadamilare not to be deterred by any form of harassment and intimidation in pursuit of his demand for payment of his emoluments for 28 months from the embattled minister who has been severally accused by many of his former aides, and had even been taken to court by one of them for the same notorious issue of non-payment of their statutory entitlements.

In the release, JFJ stated: “Barrister Shittu had, in the immediate past, lost a crop of dedicated persons wishing to use their various professional, political, personal experiences and contacts to assist him in making his oath of office a reality due to his penchant for insensitivity to the plight of those around him”.

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“It will interest the public to note that Barrister Shittu has the highest turnover of aides working with him amongst the ministers appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in the short span of 29 months most of them have served the nation. According to JFJ, Oluwadamilare and his colleague, Sheikh Tajudeen Imam, Special Assistant on Special Duties, who was sacked by the minister alongside with him, had remained the last men standing with Barrister Adebayo Shittu as others had left in annoyance with varied grievances,” JFJ further emphasized.

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Lastly, JFJ disclosed in the media release that formal letters on this latest development would be addressed to the Inspector General of Police (IG), Director of the Department of State Security (DSS) and other related security organs of the state.



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