Protest erupted in Enugu March 19 as a group of placard-carrying women stormed the streets to protest the controversial sack in one fell swoop of “over 90” married women by the telecom giant, Globacom.
Elsewhere in Lagos, groups of former Glo employees all married are equally in protest of their mass sack which they attribute to an unwritten corporate policy that targets female employees who become married as well as married women whose services to the organization are in some ways diminishing on account of their marital status.
Glo denies the existence of such an unwritten policy. As the controversy rages on social media, Glo has put out a response denying the allegations.
On the company’s verified Twitter handle, Glo says it has “had let go of employees, both male and female, married and single, due to performance issues”. The mobile telephone company in this response did not give details of the “performance issues”.
Globacom has in the recent past let go of employees, both male and female, married and single, due to performance issues. It is not true that this was restricted to married women alone. pic.twitter.com/m6gWtUqmaM
— Glo (@GloWorld) March 19, 2018
Glo went ahead to say it “has not issued any such [sack] letter to anyone.”
However, SATELLITE TIMES has obtained documents, among them a sack spreadsheet, that raise even more questions on the defence put forward by the telecom giant.
The sack spreadsheet shows that out of the 120 married employees that Globacom marked out for consideration under what it summarily termed “performance issues”, only 22 were retained while 98 were sacked.
The company’s preference for women without family is all too suggestive in the number of single ladies retained in the exercise.
Out of 52 single ladies that were considered for sack in the cluster centres across Nigeria, Globacom retained 48 and sacked only 4 single ladies.
The document suggests that a disproportionate number of married women were caught in the exercise.
Among the sacked women are those whom colleagues told SATELLITE TIMES had received letters of commendation in the past for hard work.
A copy of the sack letter obtained by SATELLITE TIMES , with the name blotted out to protect the identity of the former employee, came with the heading “SERVICES NO LONGER REQUIRED”.
The internal memo from Wole Ayanleke and copying the Human Resources Manager, Global Manpower Limited, Mr. Sanjay Chacko, the sack letter reads:
“This serves to inform you that your services are no longer required by Globacom Limited with effect from Friday March 9, 2018.
“Consequently you are hereby advised to report to the Human Resources Manager, Global Manpower Limited (Mr. George Nwanji) the outsourcing company, with immediate effect.
“You are also expected to handover all Company property (including SIM Card, Company ID etc) issued to you during the course of your services with us, to the Shop Manager, (name blotted out).”
Some of the women claimed that while they knew the Human Resources Manager Mr. Sanjay Chacko, they had never heard of nor met Mr. George Nwanji of “the outsourcing company”.
The protesting women also said the sack letters came with mass shock as none of them were given any prior notice before the termination. The termination was sudden without respect to labour laws as indicated in the sack letters themselves which came “with immediate effect”.
The same Friday March 9, 2018 that the sack letters were written and served, affected employees were informed in the sack letters that “before the close of Friday March 9, 2018, your account will be credited with your terminal benefits as advised to us”.
Analysis of the spreadsheet obtained by SATELLITE TIMES shows that a total of 13 clusters were affected by the sack exercise. In Lagos Cluster1 of the eight married, six were sacked and of the 13 singles, none were sacked. In Lagos Cluster2 nine are married, eight sacked while of the four singles, none was sacked.
In Lagos Cluster3 of the 24 that are married, 22 were sacked. And in Lagos Cluster4 10 are married but eight of them sacked. No singles was sacked in that cluster.
In West 1, all the six married were sacked just as all the three married in West 2 were sacked. No singles was sacked in these two clusters.
In Mid-West, eight out of the ten with married status were sacked while none of the six singles were sacked.
In South East 1, of the six married five were sacked while in South East 2 two out of the six married employees were sacked. Of a total of 10 singles in these two clusters, none was sacked.
In North Central 1 all the 15 married workers were sacked while seven out of 11 married in North Central 2 were sacked. None of the four singles in North Central 2 were sacked while two of the four singles in North Central 1 were sacked.
In the North East two are married. None of them was sacked.
A women’s rights activist and Executive Director of Centre for Gender Economics Ms. Uchenna Idoko described Glo’s treatment of its female employees as “economic violence” and “gross gender discrimination”.
In a telephone interview with SATELLITE TIMES, Idoko said
“A lot of people think violence is all about physically beating a woman. These are women that are rising but they are pulling them down. Economic violence is a very strong violence and will eventually cause bodily violence by the time these women start staying at home because some of these women are the ones heading the home.”
One of the sacked married women (who pleaded anonymity saying she needed the consent of her husband to speak to a journalist) told SATELLITE TIMES that Globacom mandates its female employees to sign a “bond” which content is never made known to the workers. The woman added that any employee so inquisitive to know the content of this “bond” is usually told “not to bother about it.”
Speaking on the mass sack of women in the telecoms company, the Country Director, Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigbo told SATELLITE TIMES that the contractual aspect of employment is hinged on the dignity of person.
“If you are being forced to sign a bond or contract without getting a copy, it goes back to how people are using their position and power to abuse people that are vulnerable.” Ojigbo said.
The Country Director said that without having, at this point in time, much information concerning the terms of contract or the work conditions of the sacked women, she could not say much about their labour rights. However, she pointed out that since the majority of the employees laid off were women and married women, there was a clear sign of discrimination on the basis of gender and marital status.
Ojigbo cited the Rights of Women in Africa popularly known as the Maputo Protocol saying it protects the legal and human rights of the women affected by Glo’s mass sack.
“Nigeria has signed up to so many treaties including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights. The Nigerian Constitution is very clear too. Chapter 4 highlights the various rights – right to life; right to liberty. It also talks about freedom from discrimination on the basis of sex, status, ethnicity or other various aspects. In terms of upholding human rights in Nigeria; that responsibility falls with the government of Nigeria. And since Glo is a company which is supposed to abide by the law, federal or state, it would be useful for the State to launch an investigation into this particular act,” the Amnesty Country Director said.
The women’s rights activist, Uchenna Idoko challenged Globacom to publish the performance data of its female workforce to show how many of the married women were sacked based on redundancy. She decried the reluctance of women victims to speak out even when the laws are on their side.
“Many of them are just afraid to talk. Talking as an anonymous does not solve the problem. They should write a letter to the Office of the Vice President, copy the Women Affairs Minister and the National Communication Commission and begin to hit around it. Violence Response Centre should respond to this” Idoko advised.
Idoko advised the women to write a letter to the office of the Vice-President, and to copy the Women Affairs and the Nigerian Communications Commission just as she questioned the silence of mainstream media in the face of what she described as “an act of gross gender discrimination”.
Ojigbo similarly advised the sack women to continue to gather the information regarding what has happened to them in other to build a strong case towards enforcing their fundamental human rights.
SATELLITE TIMES sent enquiries to Globacom’s corporate email address asking for official response to the allegation of gross gender profiling. This newspaper did not receive any response.
Yesterday however, Globacom in a press briefing in Lagos said the firm disengaged some staff due to performance issues.
Andrew Okeleke, head of Public Relations, said letters circulating online about the firm sacking married women were fake. He said the company did not issue such letter.
In reaction to Glo’s defence, one of the sacked married women told SATELLITE TIMES that some people backed by a powerful corporate force are producing and circulating online fake documents just to create confusion and to discredit our genuine agitation. The woman insisted that the documents they presented to this newspaper were genuine, reiterating the readiness of her group to provide even more documents in the days ahead.
Amnesty confirms 60 killed by Boko Haram in Rann
At least 60 people were killed following the 28 January devastating Boko Haram attack on Rann, a border town in Borno state, northeast Nigeria, Amnesty International has confirmed.
The organization also analyzed satellite imagery which shows hundreds of burned structures in the town. Many of the destroyed structures only date back to 2017, suggesting they were shelters for internally displaced people who came to Rann seeking protection.
“We have now confirmed that this week’s attack on Rann was the deadliest yet by Boko Haram, killing at least 60 people. Using satellite imagery we have also been able to confirm the mass burning of structures as Boko Haram unleashed a massive assault on Rann, most of which is now destroyed,” said Osai Ojigho, Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.
“This attack on civilians who have already been displaced by the bloody conflict may amount to possible war crime, and those responsible must be brought to justice. Disturbingly, witnesses told us that Nigerian soldiers abandoned their posts the day before the attack, demonstrating the authorities’ utter failure to protect civilians.”
Alleged withdrawal of troops, triggered a massive exodus of civilians to Cameroon, as fear spread that Boko Haram would take advantage and attack the town. At around 9am on 28 January, a group of Boko Haram fighters arrived on motorcycles. They set houses ablaze and killed those left behind. They also chased after those who attempted to escape and killed some people outside the town. Eleven bodies were found within Rann town, and 49 bodies were found outside.
Amnesty International was informed that about 50 people have not been accounted for. Those who took part in the burial explained what they saw.
According to an eyewitness: “Ten of us [Civilian Joint Task Force] came from Cameroon to Rann for the burial. When we arrived, we found and buried 11 corpses within the town, but the soldiers told us that they buried several others yesterday [30 January] who had decayed. Outside the town, we recovered and buried 49 dead bodies all with gunshot wounds.”
Aid agencies have reported that some 30,000 civilians have fled for the border with Cameroon in recent days, joining a further 9,000 who fled Boko Haram’s previous attack on Rann on 14 January.
Satellite evidence of mass burning
Amnesty International analyzed satellite images from 30 January 2019 showing hundreds of structures burned in the east, south and southeast of Rann. Environmental sensors detected fires in the area on 28 and 29 January.
In the 14 January attack, Boko Haram burned well over 100 structures in other areas of Rann. These two recent attacks have left most of the town heavily damaged or destroyed.
Amnesty International is calling on Nigerian authorities to investigate the alleged withdrawal of security forces of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) from Rann, which may have left tens of thousands of civilians exposed to this latest deadly attack.
“Boko Haram has consistently and deliberately targeted civilians in Rann, which makes the Nigerian authorities failure to protect people all the more unacceptable,” said Osai Ojigho.
“The authorities on both sides of the border must provide the supplies and safety that these people require. The Cameroonian authorities must also desist from forcing people to return until conditions are safe and they choose to do so voluntarily.”
Woman slashes 11-year-old housemaid with kitchen knife
A young girl only identified as Victoria is currently traumatized and in agonizing pain after she was severely inflicted with knife-injuries by her madam (identified as mummy Pemisire), for allegedly stealing milk.
The attention of this reporter was drawn to this case when a Twitter user, Adex Adebukola Crowngold (@AdexAdebukola) shared a gruesome photo of the child with the caption;
“My attention has just been called to this. The madam did this to her housemaid because she was accused of stealing milk.
“She’s in the hospital and the woman arrested. But justice must prevail. Location is at Ibadan.”
My attention has just been called to this….
The madam did this to her house maid because she was accused of stealing milk.
She's in the hospital and the woman arrested. But justice must prevail.
— Adex Adebukola Crowngold (@AdexAdebukola) January 11, 2019
Speaking to SATELLITE TIMES newspaper, an eyewitness who begged to remain unnamed, gave an account as it happened on Friday, January 11, in Sanyo area, Ibadan.
“The girl ran out of their apartment with blood stains all over her and madam was still chasing her. The little girl said she tore her body with a knife.”
The 11-year-old victim was eventually rescued by concerned neighbours in Sanyo area, and taken to a nurse for first aid treatment before the Police came to get her the next morning.
When asked about the girl’s current condition and who was responsible for her hospital bill, the eyewitness said “I should think she is fine. I don’t know who is handling her bills. The Police took her to Montana hospital, Challenge area in Ibadan.”
Her madam, Pemisire, was however arrested same night of the incident by the Police and taken to a station in Sanyo, Ibadan.
“The madam should still be in the Police custody. That is if they haven’t released her yet, you know Nigerian Police. She hasn’t returned home since that night,” the witness added.
Efforts to reach the Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Ajisebutu Adekunle via telephone were initially unsuccessful but he later responded with a text saying “the case is currently under investigation. The CP, Abiodun Odude, has directed that the case should be transferred to the state CIID Iyaganku immediately for discreet investigation and prosecution.”
How I was drugged and my baby stolen by midwife
All hell broke loose after a woman in labour, recovered from a drugged sleep only to realize that her new born baby had been stolen by the midwife. The woman, Joy Ebarelen, alleged that the midwife, Modebe Christiana (aka Nurse Ada) heavily drugged her in a bid to kill her, steal and sell her baby. The midwife assisted by her husband, a man simply known as Victor, allegedly smuggled her, while still unconscious, back to her home where they left her for dead. Ebarelen however regained consciousness two days after and found herself, not in hospital but at home on her bed.
Speaking with SATELLITE TIMES, Ebarelen said she was almost killed by the duo of Nurse Ada and her husband Victor. She recounts her ordeal from the beginning:
“I considered them Good-Samaritans, that were divinely sent to save me from my financial predicaments; I never knew their target was to kill me, then steal and sell my unborn baby.”
“I was introduced to Nurse Ada by a friend Mrs Oduma who is also my neighbour at Old Agbor Road Ubiaja , Esan South-East Local Government Area, Edo State. When I was Five months pregnant, Oduma asked me if I had registered for antenatal and I said I will soon do that once I have money. She promised to help, that she will take me to a Nurse who is good birth attendant and that she (Oduma) will foot the bill. So when we got there, I saw some pregnant women on the mat in Nurse Ada’s Patent Medicine Store. Someone was bathing a baby, so I didn’t suspect anything and I continued coming for antenatal till my baby was due.”
“In the early hours of Friday 19th October 2018, I started feeling pains around the abdomen; I called the nurse to inform her and she asked me to come straight to her house but that I should come in through the back door. She added that I should not tell anyone where I was going. I took that as a spiritual advice knowing that we live in a wicked world and I do not wish to have a spiritual attack during labour.
I went to Nurse Ada’s house with my three children because there was no one to look after them at home. Now in labour, I recalled she gave me two tablets that put me in severe pains. My phone rang many times but Nurse Ada refused me from picking any calls. I became suspicious. It was not until the third day that she allowed me to call Oduma, the same woman who had introduce me to the Nurse. I told my friend that I have been in labour for two days in Nurse Ada’s house.
“To my shock Oduma told me she was also in labour in another hospital. I was confused because Oduma was never pregnant before and suddenly she too was expecting a baby. Shortly after my phone conversation, Victor, Nurse Ada’s husband, came to give me another two tablets of white drug. Immediately, the nurse went and wore hand gloves to take delivery of my baby even when I was not experiencing any contraction. The pains around my stomach became more severe as Nurse Ada used her hand to burst the water and a few minutes later the baby came out and it was a baby girl. Nurse Ada brought out a piece of wrapper to cover the baby and she handed her to a lady standing by. Mr Victor pinned me down from behind and I started shouting that I was losing strength and thereafter I fainted.”.
When I regained consciousness, I could see Victor was standing over me. He appeared surprised that I was still alive. He went out and came back with an injection in his hand but I had no power to protest as he injected me by force with a drug I do not know the name.
“When I regained consciousness two days after the effect of the drugs, I found myself lying on the bed in my house. I asked my first son (7 years old) where my new born baby and he told me that I did not return home with the baby. Immediately, I put a call to Nurse Ada and demanded for my new born baby, but the Nurse told me that my baby boy was dead and that she had helped me to bury the child. I began to shout as I told her my baby was not dead. I insisted my baby was a girl, not a boy. She continued saying my baby was dead. I must have called her more than 100 times but she stopped picking my calls. Later, I got a call from a man who immediately began to threaten me. He said he was Barrister Lawson and that he was warning me to stop saying that Nurse Ada stole my baby, that he will deal with me if I continue to tarnish his client’s image.
SATELLITE TIMES gathered that determined to recover her missing baby, Ebarelen reported the case to the Ubiaja Division of the Nigerian Police in Edo State. The matter was later transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Benin City While the accused, Nurse Ada had at first denied taking delivery of the child, she later brought the baby girl to the police station but not without coming up with a counter-claim. She accused Ebarelen of of attempting to kill her own baby after birth and that was the reason she decided to take the baby away from her.
With this twist, Ebarelen suddenly found herself as the accused with the Police threatening to put her in detention. The following day at the police station, there was a new accusation waiting for her.
“Nurse Ada and Oduma had told the Police that I sold my baby to them. And because they refused to pay me, I reported the matter to the Police. Like a bad dream, all the policemen started abusing me while taking sides with Nurse Ada and Mrs. Oduma. The police refused to release my child to me saying that I should provide the man that impregnated me and that they will release the child to the father of my baby,” she lamented.
Ebarelen cried as she explained that the father of her new was not the same person who fathered her other three children. She named one Ardo Musa Mohammed, the Sarki Fulani of Ubiaja as the father of the child. She said that every person in the community including Nurse Ada and Oduma were in the know that Ardo had an affair with her that resulted in the pregnancy.
Ebarelen’s lawyer speaks
Barrister Sheriff Okoh, lawyer to Ebarelen, told SATELLITE TIMES that Ardo presented himself at the SCID on the 7th December 2018, but was told that the baby was under the care of Missionary Reverend Sisters. Okoh wondered why an earlier directive by the Commissioner of Police in the State on the 26th of November 2018, to immediately release the baby to her mother was ignored. He also said the SCID is rather asking for a DNA test to confirm the identity of the real father of the baby.
Acting on behalf of Joy Ebarelen and Ardo Musa Mohammed, Sheriff Okoh on December 5th 2018 wrote a petition to the Commissioner of Police demanding the release of the baby within 24 hours. The lawyer threatened court action if his demands were denied.
‘’We will sue them for the breach of the child fundamental human rights. We are charging the suspect for kidnapping of the child, trafficking and selling of the child. Rumour has it that she (baby) was sold for 700,000 naira. No first-hand information from SCID, the Nurse refused to speak with me and we found out that she is not a qualified nurse. She run delivery centre in her house and a chemist store in the market.” Okoh said.
Speaking further, Okoh alleged that the three accused, Victor, Nurse Ada and Mrs Oduma have secured bail at the SCID in Benin City. He added that an information he got from inside sources revealed that the bail was set at 1.2 million naira (400,000 naira for each person) and now the SCID has allowed the accused to walk freely in the streets of Edo State while the mother cries in pains with no idea of the whereabouts of her baby.
SATELLITE TIMES contacted the SCID Benin City via telephone for official response. The Officer-in-Charge of the case known only as Supreintendent Singto declined comments. She however confirmed that the case was under SCID investigation. Calls to the principal suspects, Nurse Ada and Mrs Oduma failed to connect as their mobiles remained switched off for days.
Follow me on Twitter
Human Rights7 months ago
2 Nigerian girls killed by their bosses in Saudi Arabia
Health9 months ago
Mass food poisoning in Nigeria: Lebanese floods markets with toxic buffalo meat
Investigations10 months ago
N15.7 Billion NAPEP fund traced to 18 private bank accounts
Investigations9 months ago
Police Promotion Scandal: Spokesman Jimoh Moshood elevated twice in 3 months, P.A to Inspector General promoted above mates
Human Rights6 months ago
Missing General: Heavily pregnant woman held captive by Nigerian Army in Jos
Investigations9 months ago
New Immigration Recruitment: Kano 355, Lagos 43, Niger 196, Bayelsa 27
Investigations8 months ago
N128 billion World Bank fund traced to Dieziani’s ally, Kola Aluko
Investigations7 months ago
Accountant exposes how First Bank, three others, pinch millions from depositors’ accounts