UNTIL 2015, the Public Complaints Commission Edo State, was just a numeclature or phrase until the coming of Barrister Felix Alari as the State Commissioner for the agency. Before now, the public hardly knows that their petition could be treated by an agency of such, apart from the Police and other law enforcement agencies which performance in the state has not only been despicable but frustrating, where in most cases justice is never done. Barrister Alari’s administration had for the past three years of his coming on board had wiped away tears and sorrows from the faced of several complainants.
The performance of government and the extent to which it discharges its social economic obligations, surely depends on the strength of its institutions and the patriotic energy, skill and integrity of those entrusted with the responsibility of manning them.
Unarguably, all institutions may not have the same strength, command and attention. However there are some agencies and activities of some managers of reputation who may not be making newspaper headlines but silently making significant contributions to the maintenance of law and order, peace, administration of justice and conflict resolutions, such is what the Public Complaints Commission, Edo State has come to be for the past three years.
Sources close to the Commission, in Edo State testify that the State Commissioner, Barrister Alari, say that even in the face of fiscal paucity of funds, he has injected fresh perspectives into the body. He has equally been commended by many for providing leadership that is responsive to the yearnings of complaints and by extension the society at large.
His actions and managerial ability in handling matters has enhanced the teeth of the Commission’s vision statement which is “to restore the dignity of man through the enthronement of the rule of law and protection of individual/organization against injustice.
In their various letters of appreciation to the commissioner the following persons whose complaints were resolved wrote:
Dated 12/19/17, Sunday Edo of Airiohuodion Street, Uteh wrote, Thank you Commissioner for the way my matter was handed with the registrar of Union Bank Plc”.
* Mr. Abies Osawaru of Ikpokpan in a letter dated 13/7/17 wrote “I appreciate the services of your commission in respect of my complaint, dated 29/03/2016. “Assault/threat to life against police officer.”
I hereby state that I am satisfied with the investigation and outcome as regards the case”.
* Mr. Adiodo Israel of Okpamen close off Sapele Road in a letter dated 19/05/2016 wrote “I thank your commission. I Adiodo Israel and my brother Adiodo Hezekiah have been paid our savings money by Kings Guard Security on Monday 16th May, 2016. I want to thank you sir and this commission for helping us in the collection of our money.
* Dated 19th October, 2015. Faith Ikogho revealed “I express my profound gratitude to the commission for the way and manner the dispute involving Mechanic Technology and I was settle.
“The sum of Sixty Thousand Naira (N60,000) which was the source of the dispute has been fully paid to me.”
I also want to use this medium to communicate to your highly esteemed commission to put all matters regarding this issue to a rest as the dispute has been resolved amicably by both parties.
* Dated 30th June 2015, Ernest Ikhuefe Aitomhen of Edo State College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi wrote “I humbly wish to refer to my letter of 11th July 2014 on the above title and to inform you that following the intervention of your commission, my March, 2012 salary which was hitherto withheld by management of Edo State College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, has now been paid to me.
Also, I wish to use this medium to say that, on behalf of my family, I appreciate your commission for its unbiased role that resulted to this judgment.
I pray that God Almighty will continue to give the official of the commission the wisdom and to brighten their eagle eyes to sustain the mandate of the commission for greater service.
* Dated 26/08/2015, Sunday Irhiemi of 11, Osasere Street. “I refer to your letter PCC/ED/C.277/2013/30 dated 13th August, 2015 and inform you that the dividend warrant is collected.
* I appreciate the Hon. Commissioner and his team, most especially Mr. Osaro Ikhinmwini, for a job well done.”
I will now be one of your agents to broadcast your activities, for what your commission did for me. Thank you and God bless every member of your staff.
* Dated 31/07/2015, Yusuf Lukman of Alahji Abba quarters wrote “I thank Hon. Commissioner and the entire staffs of the commission for the efforts made to evacuate the refuse in our area. We felt the positive impact of the public complaint commission in the community.
* Mr. Victor Okodua of Edebiri Street wrote “I thank Hon. Commissioner for the prompt intervention in a case reported at Ekpoma Area Office, on Non refundable of N100,000,00 loan being collected by one Benjamin Okogun (m) of No. 5, Akhere Street, Emando, Ekpoma and to inform you that Mr. Benjamin Okogun had refunded the said money.
* Dated 17/11/15, Ogwu Onyeka Vera of Azunze Street wrote “I an ex-corp member with call number NG/BEN/2015/043298 and NG Number ED/13A/2818, appreciate the commission for making unpaid allowances wish Edo State NYSC for the months of August and December 2013, to be paid.
* Dated 31/07/2015, Aigbe Wellington wrote “on behalf of myself and other teachers of Malachi Memorial School, we appreciate you and your commission for the role you played in ensuring that we were paid our salary which was held by the properties of the school for two months and to notify your commission that we have been paid and we are very grateful to you and your commission.
* Dated 11th September, 2017, Dr. Iduemre Ochuko of Irorore street wrote “ I appreciate you for work well done. I formerly lodged a complaint in the year 2011, complaining against University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria about the termination of my appointment.
I thank God Almighty I am reinstated.
From the foregoing it is evident that Barr Alari has with a combination of character and passionate interest in social justice matters given life to an agency which some members of the society may not know of its existence.
Funding is a big challenge to the PCC but that has not discouraged the Edo branch commissioner from providing the necessary inspiration and leadership in translating the aims of commission into action. Undoubtedly, his era will go down in history as one that recorded remarkable successes.
It is not the years a man spends on a particular seat that matters but how positively impactful his deeds are or were on society. By resolving conflict and settling complaints that would have exploded into violence and crises, Barrister Felix Alari’s deeds speak far more than can be documented. His activities have been so extensive and yet he had found the time and improvised the tools to serve and lead, shouldering burdens with unfailing humor and grace, even when society is not applauding.
The successes recorded by the commission some of which are above indicated would be better appreciated if we consider the environment in which it carried out its activities. For example, the commission has only one Innoson built pick, which most time is off road due to mechanical breakdowns.
As a grievance handling body, insulated from political drumbeat with independent status and quasi-judicial in intent, the PCC deserves to be adequately funded to ensure effective and efficient service delivery.
This is reinforced by the fact that investigation of complaints is provided at no cost to both the complainants and the respondents which should encourage the federal government to adequately fund the commission as what currently goes as budget to the body hardly takes care of salaries and this has not helped matters.
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