“In mid-February, investigative journalist Michael Smith unearthed an episode that rubbishes the Clinton Foundation’s decades-long claim of being supportive towards women worldwide: the case of Nigerian national Mrs Folarin Oreka Maiya tells quite a different story.
Why Nigeria’s Legal System is Worth Its Salt
On 14 June 2010, Maiya, an employee of the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAIN) in Nigeria with an impeccable work record was sacked after informing her immediate supervisor that she was 12 weeks pregnant.
CHAIN’s decision to fire the pregnant African woman with zero explanations was subsequently endorsed by US-based CHAI Inc and the William J Clinton Foundation Inc despite Maiya’s repeated “self-humiliating” pleas.
Perhaps, the story would have ended here, but Maiya wasn’t easily frightened. She filed a suit with the National Industrial Court of Nigeria in the Abuja Judicial Division which found that the woman’s rights to protection from discrimination and inhumane, malicious, oppressive, and degrading treatment were breached by the Clintons’ entity that discharged her due to her pregnancy.
The court decision contains a description of the litigation that clearly shows the Incorporated Trustees of CHAIN not only showed no regret over its decision to sack the pregnant woman but insisted that she was “only insinuating that her rights to human dignity and freedom from discrimination were breached”.
The defendant also tried to convince the judge that CHAIN is a separate legal entity distinct from the US-based CHAI and the William J Clinton Foundation Inc. However, after examining the facts the court came to the conclusion that CHAIN is a mere agent of the two other entities, which were well aware of what had been going on.
The judge eventually ruled in Mrs Folarin Oreka Maiya’s favour citing “gross violations” of her constitutional rights by the Clintons’ charity. Still, the Clinton Foundation failed to disclose this fact to the general public, and presumably did not brief the US and state government authorities on it while Hillary Clinton was serving as US secretary of state.
The case is especially interesting since it happened under the presidency of Barack Obama, the first African American to be elected to the office of president of the United States, with his wife Michelle known for decrying the kidnapping of Nigerian girls by Boko Haram extremists and campaigning against it in 2014.
The Obama Foundation did not respond to a request by a Sputnik journalist to comment on the Maiya vs The Incorporated Trustees of CHAIN case. Similarly, the William J Clinton Foundation Inc, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Chelsea Clinton, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Organisation for Women, Association for Women’s Rights in Development, International Alliance of Women, Women for Women International, and International Women’s Health Coalition – all those who claim to spearhead feminist values – did not provide any comment on the controversial 2010 episode.” (Read more: Sputnik News, 2/26/2020) (Archive)
Michael Smith writes more about the legal case:
“On 11 November 2011 His Lordship the Honourable Justice BA Adejumo, President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria delivered a scathing judgement against 3 Clinton Foundation entities.
It’s important to explain who and what those entities are.
Firstly the court found that The Incorporated Trustees of Clinton Health Access Initiative, Nigeria headed by Dr Owens Wiwa had committed a “gross violation of (Folarin’s) constitutional rights”. The CHAI Nigeria had “severely wounded her, with their assault on her womanhood”. The court found that the Nigerian entity had acted illegally and had tried to cover-up its unlawful actions by giving false evidence to the court.
But the court reserved its most scathing criticism for the US-based CHAI Inc and the William J Clinton Foundation Inc.
The court held that the Clinton Foundation’s Nigerian entity was a fully-controlled agent of the Clinton Foundation itself. His Honour Judge Adejumo said,
“It is on the record that (Folarin) made several self-humiliating entreaties to the US-based respondents (CHAI) to reconsider the decision to sack her which the respondents flagrantly rebuffed. It is on the record that she appealed to the US head office in the United States (William J Clinton Foundation Inc), which instead of calling the Nigerian office to order, decided to ratify its illegal act. It is equally on the record that the respondents have not shown any remorse, they have continued to justify the action. Considering this high-handedness and gross violation of the constitutional rights of the applicant, it is my considered opinion that the applicant is entitled to the award of aggravated damages”.
The Nigerian court’s decision is now on the record at the International Labour Organisation’s legal precedent database.
The full court’s judgement is here.