Mr. Babatunde Irukera, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of FCCPC

FCCPC extends condolences, probes death of Julius Haruna, Assistant Director and Head of Zonal Office

*Nigeria’s Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission mourns the death of Julius Haruna, the Commission’s Assistant Director and Head of North-West Zonal Office, in Katsina State, who passed away August 17, 2022, says it is continuing investigations into circumstances surrounding the passing of the top official

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) mourns the death of Mr. Julius Haruna, Assistant Director and Head of North-West Zonal Office, of the market regulatory Commission, in Katsina State, who died Wednesday, August 17, 2022.

ConsumerConnect reports the FCCPC, Tuesday, August 23, stated although investigations are at early and inconclusive stages, information known suggests that earlier, late Haruna was involved in a dispute, which escalated to, and included physical contact with Ms. Muibat Taiwo Abdusalam, another employee of the Commission.

Tam Tamunokonbia, Director Legal Services/Secretary to the Board, in a statement issued Tuesday noted that the Katsina State Police Command is currently seized with, and continuing investigations.

The deceased is currently deposited in the morgue of Katsina General Hospital and awaiting an autopsy, while Ms. Abdusalam is currently detained by the State Police Command, the Commission said.

The FCCPC also stated that its officials August 18, visited the deceased’s family in Kafanchan, in Kaduna State, Norther Nigeria, and the Commission is continuing to provide support to the family.

“In addition, the Commission has been in communication with the family of the detained Ms. Abdusalam with respect to answering their questions and providing any legitimate and applicable support in the circumstances.

“The Commission is also assisting and supporting the Police investigation of the sad occurrence.

“There are current, and indeed a record of past cross allegations of conflict and abuse/aggression by the deceased and Ms. Abdulsalam, which current claims include an assertion of insufficient remedial action by the Management of the Commission,” said FCCPC.

Governing Board emergency meeting resolutions

In response to the sad incident, and events leading thereto, the Commission said that its Governing Board held an emergency Board meeting August 22, and decided the following by resolutions:

“To immediately and forthwith institute an independent internal investigation, to conclude within 21 working days or any extensions granted by the Board;

“Appointed Dr. Ben Nwoye (Legal Practitioner and Non-Executive Commissioner/Board Member) as Chair of the Independent Internal Investigation Panel (Panel); and Air Vice-Marshal Wakili Abdullahi Ahmed (Rtd), (also a non-executive Commissioner/ Board member) as Co-Chair of the Panel; and

“To invite representatives of the Federal Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment and Office of the Head of Service of the Federation as members of the Panel.”

The Governing Board also directed Executive Management of the Commission to immediately engage an experienced and independent legal counsel as member, guide and support to the Panel; and

“Immediately but temporarily relieve relevant leadership and operatives within the Commission in order to ensure a fair, transparent and credible investigation.”

According to the Commission, although there have been some news coverage of this painful incident in its Katsina office, “none of the speculations therein are fully verified or sufficiently established as valid evidence.”

Tamunokonbia assured Nigerians that the Commission would continue to make appropriate, full, and frank disclosures of information, any investigative outcomes and or judicial processes (where applicable).

He as well noted that the FCCPC notwithstanding continues to discharge its mandate, including across the North-West of the West African country.

“Once again, the Governing Board of the Commission extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends, as well as co-workers/colleagues of the late Mr. Julius Haruna,” stated the Commission.

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