Obaseki sacks Perm Sec, suspends 3 others over N283m Exam fraud, orders a probe on Oshiomhole’s administration
The governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, sitting in Council, on Friday sacked Dr. (Ms) Osayuware Idahosa, who was until the sack the Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Youth and Special Duties.
Three other civil servants were also suspended over allegation of padding the budget for the conduct of primary school leaving examination (Primary Six Exam) to the tune of N283 million, a fraud which was perpetrated during the tainted regime of former governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole.
Dr. Idahosa, who served as Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Education at the time the alleged fraud was committed, was referred to the State Civil Service Commission for appropriate action, according to the rules and guidelines of the service.
The decision was the outcome of an extraordinary session of the State Executive Committee meeting, headed by the Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaskei, in Government House, Benin City.
The three other officers involved in the fraud are Barr. S. A. Erhunmwunse Edokpayi, Mrs. E.I. Ero-Ugiagbe and Mr. Lucky Adagbonyin.
The EXCO resolved that the indicted officers should proceed on indefinite suspension without pay and their case forwarded to the State Civil Service Commission for appropriate actions according to the rules and guidelines of the service.
Recall that Governor Obaseki vowed to unmask the people that sent a N283 million request for the conduct of primary school examination in the state, which was eventually conducted at the cost of N30 million.
Residents of Edo state are excited about the decision of the governor to punish the corrupt civil servants but many expressed their concern why the Commissioner who was in charge and the former governor was not indicted, holding that the civil servants could not have padded a budget without the input and interest of the Commissioner and even the former governor who approved such outrageous budget.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Rt. Hon. Paul Ohonbamu said that the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, submitted a report on the panel of enquiry on the conduct of the 2016/2017 Primary School Leaving Certificate Examination and after due consideration of findings and recommendations, the EXCO took the decisions.
According to Ohonbamu: “EXCO also set up a committee to be chaired by the Honourable Commissioner for Employment and Wealth Creation, Hon. Emmanuel Usoh to investigate the delisting of about 350 private schools from the list of eligible schools to participate in the Primary School Leaving Certificate Examination and also the conditions that led to the relisting of these schools shortly after they were delisted.”
Other members of the committee include the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Rt. Hon. Paul Ohonbamu and the Managing Director of Edo State ICT Agency, Mr. Lambert Ugorji.
Ohonbamu further said that the EXCO meeting ordered that an audit exercise be carried out on the accounts that pertain to the examination exercise, which has now been marred by alleged corruption. This audit will cover 2014, 2015 and 2016, an indication that the administration of Adams Oshiomhole is under probe because he was the governor who approved all the allegedly corrupt budgets during the period under review.