N283 million fraud: Edo govt. sacks Perm Sec, suspends three others

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The Edo State Government on Friday sacked a permanent secretary in the State Ministry of Youth and Special Duties, Osayuware Idahosa, and three other civil servants overallegation of padding the budget for the conduct of primary school examination to the tune of N283 million.

Mrs. 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.

The decision was the outcome of an extraordinary session of the State Executive Committee meeting, headed by the Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, in Government House, Benin City.

The other officers involved in the alleged fraud are S. A. Erhunmwunse Edokpayi, E.I. Ero-Ugiagbe and Lucky Adagbonyin.

The state executive resolved that the suspects should proceed on indefinite suspension without pay and also forwarded the matter to the State Civil Service Commission for appropriate actions according to the rules and guidelines of the service.

Governor Obaseki had 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.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Paul Ohonbamu, said that the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, 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, Paul Ohonbamu and the Managing Director of Edo State ICT Agency, Lambert Ugorji.

Mr. 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.