A Nigerian-born traffic warden was forced out of his job after exposing that illegal immigrants were issuing parking tickets on the streets of London, a tribunal has heard.
Michael Onumajuru, 49, claimed that his boss at NSL – which operates parking enforcement for Camden Council – was at the centre of a racket in which Nigerian migrants used fake passports to gain work.
But when he challenged his managers he was transferred to a different base and then dismissed after almost three years on the job.
Mr Onumajuru told the hearing it was his boss, operational support manager Adebowale Onadeko, who was ‘at the centre of the illegal working’, and around 40 per cent of the wardens were employed unlawfully.
At one point, he was even ordered by supervisors to ‘concentrate on issuing tickets and not worry about illegal workers’, he said.
In his witness statement to Central London Employment Tribunal, Mr Onumajuru said: ‘Shortly after commencing employment in July 2008 it came to my attention that the respondent was employing illegal workers.
‘Whilst I was training with other members of staff they told me that they were using fake documents to work and that the respondent was aware of the situation.
‘I informed them that I was shocked to hear that the respondent was aware of their status and still took them on as employees.’
The workers reported the conversation to NSL, he said, and afterwards he was ‘not allowed to work with those particular employees’.
He confronted Mr Onadeko about the situation, he said, complaining that a criminal offence was being committed and that matters were ‘deliberately concealed from the authorities’.
Racket: Mr Onmajuru claims around 40 per cent of the NSL wardens were employed illegally
He said he made three protected disclosures, he said, the first to Mr Onadeko in July 2008, again in March 2009 and November 2010.
The tribunal heard he informed Mr Onadeko of three employees working with false passports, including one who admitted to him he had acquired his ID from someone in Peckham and it had been manufactured at a fake passport factory.
He was subsequently subjected to abuse from the staff he had reported, he added, and complained to the HR team of the ‘bullying and harassment’ he had received from Mr Onadeko.
But the following day, Mr Onadeko told him the woman in HR was junior to him and ‘nothing would happen’.
At a later date, he was called into a meeting with Mr Onadeko and another manager. Mr Onumajuru said: ‘[They] advised me that they could not accept the low rate of tickets that I was issuing and that I should concentrate on issuing tickets and not worry about illegal workers’.
‘I understood this to be a direct threat to me,’ he added.
- Daily Mail