……GM Refuses To Sign And Accept Suspension Letter As Crisis/Strike Brews In DBS
HardReporters can authoritatively report that the suspended corrupt General Manager of Delta Broadcasting Service, (DBS), Warri, Mr. Tunde Omonode, (aka) Terry Mackson, has vehemently refused to sign and accept his suspension letter submitted to him.
There was an uncontrollable wide jubilation Monday evening at the Delta Broadcasting Service, (DBS), Warri over the indefinite suspension of Mr. Omonode following reports of panel of investigation led by Mr Frank Apokwu, which was set up to investigate his alleged fraudulent practices and theft of office equipment and was found culpable.
The panel however recommended and directed the most senior officer and Head of Department News and Current Affairs, Mrs. Evelyn Utunye, to take charge of the station on acting capacity pending appointment of a substantive General Manager.
HardReporters reliably learnt that the refusal of the suspended GM to sign and accept his suspension letter is already generating crisis in the organisation with staff threatening to embark on strike should the embattled GM fail to adhere strictly to the suspension order slammed on him.
The panel, it was gathered had recommended a transfer of service as against dismissal penalty for misconduct on the ground that the GM has served over 20 years as civil servant.
It would be recalled that HardReporters had in June exclusively reported how the suspended GM was facing a panel for allegedly stealing properties belonging to the station.
Genesis of the story that led to Omonode’s suspension:
Mr. Omonode who has less than two years to retire from service, HardReporters learnt, had consistently accused a staff in the engineering department, simply identified as Oboyo, of been responsible for missing working tools in the station and and at a time set up a panel which he later influenced to pronounce Oboyo guilty of some of the accusations.
Following this development, Mr. Oboyo filed a petition to DBS board of directors detailing the alleged criminal activities of the GM, and a panel was immediately set up to look into all the allegations and the panel was shock to discover that the General Manager was involved in the stealing of some properties belonging to the station.
Chronicling what actually transpired, a board member of the station who pleaded for anonymity confided in our correspondent, that for the past four years the station has lost two thunder arrestors and several items to unknown criminals and following investigations, fingers of conspiracy pointed at the direction of the General Manager.
“The GM accused a staff in the engineering department of the station, of stealing a video camera from the station’s Outside Broadcast (OB) van and the GM set up a panel to investigate the staff but the panel we discovered danced to the tune of the GM and found the staff guilty with recommendation for the compulsory retirement of the staff. The panel further recommended that the staff forfeits half of his entitlements to replace the stolen item.
“Because of the manner the GM’s panel dispersed justice against the staff, the already dismissed staff had to petition the board. Following the petition, the board set up a panel with members drawn from the board, the union, ministry of the information. The panel was able to discovered series of fraudulent practices by the GM.
“The panel discovered that the GM stolen the following items from the station’s guest house, (6) beds, (12) pillows, (6) foams, (2) ’32’ inches LCD television sets, (1) ’42’ inches plasma television sets and (2) standing split unit air conditioners given to the station by the ministry of information. The panel is recommending for the GM sack but he is seriously lobbying, using politicians and influential persons to beg the panel to convert his sack to lesser punishment.” the member said.
At a point while the investigation was going on, a Director in the Ministry of information had bemoaned the decision to allowed the GM in office and the same time been investigated for stealing.
According to the Director, it will be a great disservice to the people should the panel be influenced by anyone saying that investigations shows that the GM is guilty of all the stealing allegations leveled against him especially when he had already been using the stolen items at home.
“I am in touch with the board and we get reports day in day out from that station. Whenever it rains while other four private stations in the area are on air, the Delta radio will be off the air due to lack of funds to purchase thunder arrestor. Rainy season the station is always off the air where as the GM is busy building houses and plaza in Aladja area in Udu local government. Always complaining no funds and he is busy stealing all the monies meant for running the office to build houses and plaza.
“The board decided to look into the treasury of the station and was annoyed with the GM. Sometime ago, the GM forced a staff to pay for a stolen thunder arrestor. This staff paid the sum of N140, 000 to the GM in his office for the stolen arrestor and this money was never receipted for. Head of the department was also made to pay some money too and the GM never receipted it too. In April, 30th, 2016, another arrestor was stolen and a panel was set up for the same staff but after investigation, the panel exonerated him.
“The GM has killed the station and as I talk all the staff are clamouring for his removal. The GM is looting the treasury while the station can not buy diesel to power the station. There was also a case of stolen three air conditioners in the programme department and also on two occasions the batteries of the standby generators were stolen and the GM never bothered to set up a panel because he knows what he is doing.” the Director had said.
As the panel was still sitting, HardReporters placed a call to the embattled General Manager, Mr. Tunde Omonode, but denied all the allegations against him, saying “I am not aware of what you are saying.”
However, in a letter of defence signed and addressed to the panel of investigation, a copy of which was obtained by HardReporters, the GM then, affirmed taking away the items since 2015 to his home for what he termed ” Safe Keeping”.
“It is true that am in possession of some of these equipment, but this action was done in good faith to ensure that those Guest house materials were not stolen, misused or destroyed. We had a guesthouse on the demand of the union. The Guest house contained two rooms with two beds each, split units standing A/Cs and Televisions.
“I have in my possession, (3) family size bed, (3) family size foams, (2) television set 32 inches and 42inches LG, (2) A/Cs ( standing split units) and (6) pillow cases. I decided to move them to my house because of the safety based on track incident of theft in the premises.” Omonode had stated in his letter.
Meanwhile, the panel which was supposed to make its recommendations known on Thursday, June, 29, 2017 during the board’s monthly meeting could not do so due to some circumstances until Monday, 31, July, 2017 when the panel finally slammed the GM with indefinite suspension which sparked off wide jubilation by staff at the organisation premises in Warri.