The last has not been heard in the ongoing crisis in the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON); Nigeria’s largest Safety Professional body. In this exclusive interview with HSENations, Mr. Haruna Malgwi in his usual calm but articulated manner sheds light on what he believes is the hidden truth in this matter and the way forward.
Mr. Malgwi Yusuf Haruna who was the former Deputy President, BOT Member and a member of the Governing Board whose tenure expired in 2016 and was elected in absentia on 24th of June 2017 when he was abroad attending the Annual global Conference of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) now America Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) to succeed the embattled President. According to Mr. Malgwi on his return tried by persuasion to make him come to terms with the ‘yarning of the people’ but his camp were resistant to it.
HSENations: Sir, can you for the benefit of our readers let us into what led to this ISPON crisis?
Well, as safety professionals, we always look for the root cause of any Incident/accident. In this regard, I will say the crisis in ISPON which brought us all here truly has a root cause.
My concern however is that the crisis has prevented and diverted our minds away from carrying out our functions at helping the country improve on Safety Management. Personally I am not happy that the crisis is still aflame. However, the greatest sin against humanity is when truth is traded for falsehood in order to score cheap personal goals.
The former President that is flouting Owerri Court Judgement knows that some of his actions when we were on the 2014-2016 Governing Board aggravated the matter some of which include;
- Freezing of the accounts of States in a bid to mop up all funds in State branches into a Treasury Single Account (TSA) in a haste towards the end of the GB tenure even when he was advised to sort the buy-in of the State Branch Executive members or the Chairmen.
- Trying to force some State Chairmen through on the members like in the case of Lagos State Branch.
- Cancellation of the National Election at Akwa Anambra State in 2016.
- Sidelining of Vice President and treating him as non existent at the National Executive (NEC)
These and other matters never discussed at GB meetings like the Chevron Contract led to his personal hatred of Delta State Branch and his refusal to attend to those aggrieved persons in all this matters from the State level to National. These were at variance with GB decisions. In a nutshell.
HSENations: The spokesman for Dr. Ilodiuba led administration said your demands in the October reconciliation meeting was that you wanted Adam-Otite be returned back as registrar for Bola Aborode, Can you please explain the basis?
Well, this matter is better answered by Bola Aborode himself for those who care to know the truth.
I was one of those that pleaded for Bola Aborode in one of the GB meetings held in Lagos Airport Hotel when his appraisal was reviewed as the Registrar of the Institute and the GB members after listening to the then President agreed that the Institute require a more versatile person with computer proficiency. He was given the option to either accept the position of Admin officer or resign.
A copy of the GB extract is available and his response accepting the position is also available for verification. I therefore do not see where this matter is coming from but I guess it’s just a ploy to fan ethnicity Bola being a Yoruba man saying that will pitch the Yorubas against me a Northerner.
I want you to find time and talk with Bola and find out his impression of me.
HSENations: During your reconciliation meeting, you were quoted to have said that, everything must be done in the interest of the institute and not individuals, so what then is the interest of the institute?
The overall picture as outlined in the ISPON Act 2014. Anything that is about remunerations or contracts should follow due process not to meet individual interest only but the whole.
HSENations: We heard there was an arrest during your conference, what led to that?
The Nigerian Police are not robots as the other camp think they can give them orders as to what they want and it will be done. I for one have a very high regard for the Nigerian Police and they have not disappointed my impression of them at our National Safety Summit held in Benin City which was a very successful outing.
Arrest? I don’t know if there was any thing of such. Well, that’s impossible to make an arrest in a program where a zonal AIG was represented by his 2i/c?
A program where the DPO of the area was directed by his boss to ensure law and order is maintained through out the two day program?
I think who ever said this does not understand how our Police function and should go and learn to appreciate that the Police are organized people.
HSENations: It was alleged that you asked Dr. Ilodiuba during your reconciliation meeting to collect ‘what is his dues’. How true is this and what are his dues?
This is yet another misquote. ISPON is one body as at the period before Dr. Ilodiuba decided to form a parallel body after the 24th June 2017 when I emerged as President and he and others were suspended after the disciplinary Committee Chaired by Mr Emmanuel Akpokodje gave them opportunity to explain their misgivings and they fail to appear and they sent their report and recommendations to the GB who accepted and approved their suspension.
In order to be fair in reconciliation, I said all State Branches should make their Branch financial report covering the period before my emergence as President to our former tenure GB to which Dr. Nnamdi was the President and that is the context of what I mean about due and not a personal.
HSENations: What are the demands of the Dr. Ilodiuba led administration that is in conflict with your demands?
All their demand were points that could have been resolved had they not walked out on us at the meeting when they insisted that we must accept that they are the authentic and that we are not recognized and never existed. My submission was if we never existed why the reconciliation? I believe if I have not gone to school my exposure is good enough to know that it is only people that exist that can come to table with others to talk. We are not ghosts and for the Police not to have carried out their desired enterprise on us may be made them believe we were supper humans.
HSENations: Was there a court order in support of the Ilodiuba led administration? And on what basis did you disagree with the court orders?
Good question that does not require a yes or no answer but an understanding of the workings of the court and the powers of the Police side by side any court process.
Any judgement begins at a lower court to higher court. There is also grace period in any judgement where in the defendant or defendants as the case may be can either challenge the judgement in the same court or appeal to a higher court for fair hearing if not satisfied. From appeal court one still can approach the Apex court of the Land known as the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
So in this case, the judgement is not satisfactory to us as we were not served and my Name and the Deputy President was not on the defendant list. The name Benson Adam Otite that was on the defendant list was neither served nor was repressed with his consent in court.
I can tell you even when we tried to find out the lawyer that stood in court for him by petitioning NBA Owerri Branch they could not identify the said name on their register, we are still waiting may be they want to escalate it to their National body failure of which we will take another step to unravel the Mystery
This is just the first step so you can see that the journey is still far. From there to court of appeal to the Supreme Court is not a few days journey it may take years or months depending on the calendar of the Judiciary.
The name of this struggle is no retreat no surrender as far as the legal angle is concerned forget about the propaganda
I believe it is better to use ISPON funds to develop ISPON rather than spending it on court cases which that is why I have been initiating peace processes but they will always ensure it is aborted so that he will continue benefitting from the crisis in my opinion.
HSENations: Was there a criminal case against the Warri Chapter been investigated by EFCC?
I don’t want to use the word criminal but accountability petition is before EFCC initiated by Dr Nnamdi Ilioduba camp both in Portharcourt and Benin zone of EFCC. This matter includes the MOU signed by ISPON with both Uniport and FUPRE. This has become necessary so as to weaken the support the Governing Board am Chairing is enjoying from the Strong branches of ISPON that are in the two zones.
HSENations: The dollar issue seems to be a contention by the other administration, what’s it about the dollar issue?
I believe that what a court of competent Jurisdiction has ruled about it and there was no challenge by the plaintiffs nor appeal remain settled.
I myself don’t know the angle of their contention again since they could not challenge nor appeal when the case was thrown out of Court.
HSENations: How best do you think this lingering crisis can be resolved to ensure normalcy returns in the interest of those that are beneficiaries of this institute?
Seeking for peace remain the only way because force or propaganda or court cases will only prolong the crisis and put the institute at disadvantage. However, half truth too is not healthy for the future generation and posterity.
I believe allowing me and all those the judgement we are challenging be heard in court in order to balance the facts presented and argued will go a long way in appeasing the polity and correct the one sided documentation for good reference to be made in future not only by ISPON but similar cases in the world.
I assure you if the records are balanced in the court and another ruling came even if it is not in our Favour we will be satisfied that the records were made straight and judgement is a matter of the power of argument before a judge who will also pronounce his opinion from the arguments and facts presented before him.
HSENations: Any other information you believe the public should know in this ongoing imbroglio?
I want the public to know that Dr Nnamdi Ilioduba and Mr. Malgwi Yusuf Haruna are not enemies as being Painted nor are they rivals on personal grounds. He was the President of the Institute of Safety Professionals of Nigeria (ISPON) and I was the Deputy President from 2013 – 2016 and My family are aware of the close walk we have enjoyed within the period. The fact that he had the opportunity to be handed over the President office without election in 2013 by Mr Shaw Fregene at Lagos Airport Hotel where I was also elected unopposed means that on his part he has enjoyed successful succession plan made by leaders ahead of us and on my part have had the good will and confidence of the people.
I am glad that my emergence as President was not the first time that even in my absence the people love me. In Calabar during the election of National officers, I was elected as Vice President in absentia.
My motto is service to humanity first and any other things will be an added advantage.
I still believe peace is the true option and I am for it but falsehood must be corrected first for lasting peace to be obtained and that is to set aside the superiority complex and accept to come to terms with the facts that were outlined as the root causes of the crisis in definite terms.
Watchout for more to come………………………….