The complainant, in the suit marked: NICN/ABJ/347/2017, wants the court to declare his demotion as well as the processes that led to it as illegal and null and void.
Led in evidence by his lawyer, Prof. J.O Amupitan (SAN), he told Justice Sanusi Kadu of the National Industrial Court in Abuja that he was appointed as Head of Training on grade level 16 Step 1 in 2005 and later Commandant of the EFCC Academy in March 28, 2012.
Olowonihi disclosed further that after he sat and passed the commission’s promotion examinations conducted by the Public Service Institute, he was promoted to the rank of Detective Commander on August 29, 2013.
He claimed that Magu, on November 19, 2015, summoned him into his office, accusing him of being behind some online publications on the activities of the commission and against the person of the chairman (Magu).
He said on Magu’s directive, he was interrogated, his official computer taken away, while his two phones were seized, adding that his office, after being thoroughly searched by a team of detectives and policemen, was sealed up.
The complainant said further that while interrogation was still on, Magu demoted him as Commandant and redeployed him from the EFCC Academy.
He said while the letter was purported to have been issued by the management of the commission, he was not aware of any management meeting where such decision was taken being a management staff.
Olowonihi disclosed that he received a query on December 22, 2015, accusing him of breaching certain section of the commission Staff Regulation Handbook and replied on December 29, 2015, denying all the allegations, but was surprised to receive that same day, a letter of indefinite suspension from work without pay with immediate effect.