Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi has suspended the Permanent Secretary, Office of the Head of Service, Martin Uguru, indefinitely for extortion of civil servants.
The suspension which took effect from April 1, 2022, is contained in a statement issued in Abakaliki on Friday by the Principal Secretary to the governor, Emmanuel Obasi.
Mr Obasi stated that Mr Umahi condemned the collection of kickbacks from recently promoted civil servants in which the permanent secretary was found complicit.
“The money demanded by civil servants in charge of the process was for the typing and collection of the document containing details of the promotion, they claimed.
“The governor directed the Secretary to the State Government to issue the letter of indefinite suspension to the permanent secretary for his complicity in the scam.
“All heads of administration and persons involved in this exploitation are to forfeit one month’s salary each.
“The concerned heads of administration are hereby directed to fully refund all monies collected from the newly-promoted civil servants.
“The refund should be paid directly to their bank accounts and such officials should submit the bank tellers to the Principal Secretary to the governor within 48 hours.
“Failure to comply with this directive attracts dismissal from the state civil service,” the statement read.
The statement observed that if there were requirements to process relevant promotion documents as claimed, such requirements should be brought to the notice of the state governor by the Office of the Head of service.
“That is the proper thing to do rather than resorting to exploitation of the newly-promoted civil servants,” the statement read.
Mr Umahi also directed the posting of the Permanent Secretary in charge of the state’s Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) to the Office of Head of Service in acting capacity.
“The concerned official will still be in charge of UBEB.
“The permanent secretary, Ministry of Trade and Investment is posted to the Ministry of Business Development with immediate effect,’’ Mr Obasi stated.