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.
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.
Woman dead after FMC Owerri doctors denied her treatment for snakebite
A mother of two teenage children, Mrs Ihuoma Hart Amadi, was for hours on end an object of morbid spectacle as unflinching medical practitioners watch as she agonized to death from snake bite following refusal of a male doctor on duty at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owerri to administer antidote.
Tearful pleas from relatives were not enough to move the doctors and nurses in the government hospital as the care-givers claimed there was no bed-space for the woman to receive the treatment. Suggestions that the antidote be administered inside the car that brought the woman to the hospital was scoffed at by the male doctor and his colleagues on the grounds that it would be unethical to attend to a patient inside a carpark, no matter the emergency.
Mrs Amadi who was in her late 40’s and an indigene of Ngwuokpala Owerri had on Tuesday 20th November 2018 gone to the farm with some other women for firewood when she was bitten by a viper. Her screams attracted the other women, who managed to take her home on a motorbike and facilitated her transportation to FMC.
Speaking to SATELLITE TIMES, brother-in-law to the deceased woman, Mr Richard Amadi disclosed amidst tears that the death of his brother’s wife was avoidable just that the doctors at FMC were unmoved and did not see it as a duty to save her life be it on a well-dressed hospital bed, a corridor or carpark.
“We explain to the doctor it was snakebite and begged him and the nurses for two hours to come and attend to her inside the vehicle since they said there were no more bed space to accommodate the patient’’ Richard lamented.
“I even begged him to at least help us prescribe an antidote so we could run to a pharmacy or to administer some form of First Aid but the doctor said he couldn’t do that because should anything happen to the woman afterwards, he would be held responsible,” he added.
In the bid to save the woman’s life, anxious relatives took her to four different hospitals in the capital city namely Omezurike Hospital, Pamela hospital, Saint David Hospital and International Christian Hospital. Each of these private hospitals referred the patient back to FMC. While the private hospitals had bed spaces, they neither had antidotes nor qualified personnel apparently to handle Mrs Amadi’s condition which was getting worse by the minutes.At the last hospital, one of the doctors found it laughable that patients were coming to them from Federal Medical Centre when it is supposed to be the other way around with referrals from private hospitals and clinics going to FMC.
SATELLITE TIMES gathered that a person bitten by a snake should be taken to the nearest public hospital. Within 24 hours the victim is suppose to be given an antivenin. A medical practitioner who did not want his name published said:
“FMC was not supposed to reject such a patient; the whole idea of medical practice is to save life; they were supposed to find a place in Accident & Emergency or admit her in A&E and administer antivenom and analgesic.”
FMC Owerri’s Public Relation Officer, Mrs Jacinta Achonu had a different view. Speaking to SATELLITE TIMES, she said: ‘’This cannot be true; it is a cooked-up story. To the best of my knowledge we do not run things like that. Normally, if a patient is brought to FMC, you will see how the doctors will rush forward to attend to the patient even inside a vehicle, so I don’t want to believe this side of the story. How I wish we know the name of the doctor, he deserves a query and need to leave this job. If it can be established the doctor actually knew the condition of such patient and told them there was no bed space, he will lose his job,” Achonu said
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