President Buhari Sacks Permanent Secretary For Awarding Contracts To Himself

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the sack of a Permanent Secretary, who has been using his office to allegedly defraud the Federal Government through the award of phantom contracts worth billions of Naira to himself.

The permanent secretary, who was appointed by Buhari in 2015, was fired on Tuesday on the orders of the President.

A source in the ministry confirmed that two police officers drove the sacked permanent secretary from the Federal Secretariat, Abuja, raising concerns as to what might have led to such an action.

A Presidency source confirmed to Vanguard that the President ordered the immediate removal of the top civil servant, who presided over the affairs of one of the strategic ministries handling intervention programmes in the country following evidence that he awarded contracts to companies belonging to him.

Vanguard learned that the sacked permanent secretary had deployed several strategies to evade a sting operation, which had been planned by one of the anti-graft agencies, thereby making it impossible for the operatives to track him down.

It was learned that key officials of the ministry, who got hint of the permanent secretary’s activities, drew the attention of security agents to the scam and called for urgent investigation of the man.

One of the security agency officials, who handled the investigation of the permanent secretary, told Vanguard that the sting operation planned against the official was frustrated by him and his agents, forcing them to delay his arrest since January this year.

“We have been monitoring the man and the various companies being used by him to siphon huge sums of money from the ministry, which handles intervention programmes in the Niger Delta region but he has been very smart and suspicious of our movement, thereby making it impossible for us to arrest him despite the ambush we laid for him and his cronies,” one of the operatives said.

He added: “But Mr. President did not waste time in asking the Head of Service of the Federation to sack the man with immediate effect as soon as he got to know that the man had used over 500 companies to award fake contracts to himself and move huge sums of money from the ministry in question.”

“In fact, the discovery of the large scale fraud in the ministry, which has suffered a lot of project failure and the subsequent sacking of the permanent secretary by Mr. President, followed painstaking investigation by the anti-corruption agencies, which will soon charge the man to court.”

Serving Kano Commissioner, Permanent Secretary arraigned for alleged fraud

The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission, on Tuesday, arraigned the state Commissioner for Land, Faruk Bibi Faruk, in court for alleged criminal breach of trust and illegal acts.

Also arraigned were the permanent secretary, Mahmud Bari, and a director in the ministry, Ahmad Ibrahim.

The trio were arraigned on a three-count charge before Justice Nasiru Saminu of Kano High Court 22 bordering on land deal.

According to the prosecuting lawyer, Rabi Waya, the officials allegedly connived sometime in April to sell an already allocated plot of land to Baba Sharu at the cost of N5 million, an offence punishable under section 315 of the Criminal Penal Code.

They were also charged with a breach of trust thus committing an offence punishable under section 97 of the penal code.

The third charge borders on alleged issuance of two Occupancy Permits C8 and C21 at Kunya ta Inna covered by layout plan TP/KNUPDA/338 at Kumbotso in the fictitious name of one Aisha Kabeer and Maryam Ado which were sold out at cost of N300,000 each.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Akinola Kehinde, counsel to the accused persons, asked the court to grant them bail and also requested access to the charge sheets which would allow them defend themselves adequately.

He expressed worry that the charges which were criminal in nature could end the careers of his clients and put a permanent dent on their names forever.

Mr. Saminu granted the accused persons bail on self recognisance and adjourned the case toFebruary 9 and 10, 2017, for further hearing.

The judge also granted the request of the lawyer to have access to the charge sheets.

Governor Amosun Appoints Igbo Permanent Secretary.

In a rare effort at integration, Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has appointed two ‘non-indigenes’ as permanent secretaries in the Civil Service of the state. One of them, Ndimele Emmanuel Ofor is Igbo from Abia State, while the other one is Ipinniwa Steve Olusegun from Kogi State.

 

In a society where minor disagreements between people are viewed through ethnic prism, Mr Amosun’s show of faith in non-indigenes to occupy such high offices is worthy of special notice. It may have even come to the beneficiaries themselves as a surprise.

 

Speaking at the occasion, the governor said, “I believe that if someone has been serving in a place for 20, 30 years he can no longer be called a non-indigene. He has been with us and he has worked with us. He is now part of us. He cannot be called a non-indigene, and in any event, it will be unfair and unjust to deprive someone who worked for you his deserved elevation on account of where he comes from.”

 

Mr Ofor and Olusegun were among the 14 new Permanent Secretaries sworn in by Amosun at the State Executive Council Chambers, Governor’s office, Oke-mosan, Abeokuta. In his speech, the governor added that, “As for me, hard work rather than where you come from should be the basis for promotion.”

 

He noted that “This is the first time we are having non- indigenes as permanent secretaries in the state and they are part and parcel of us, irrespective of where they are from, we’ll honour them because they have proven themselves to be hard working

Yahaya Bello Fires All Perm Secs, Finance Directors In Kogi

The Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has directed all permanent secretaries and Directors of Finance in the state to proceed on compulsory leave with effect from Tuesday.

 

The Head of Service, Moses Atakpa, who issues the directive on behalf of the governor, asked all the affected officials should hand over the affairs of their various ministries to the personnel director s of the ministries.

 
Also, the state’s Accountant General was relieved of his duty, while his deputy was asked to proceed on a 30-day compulsory leave.

 
At the Local Government level all DGs, education secretaries are to proceed on compulsory leave.

 

Atakpa, however, said all those in acting capacity were excluded from this directive.

 

The Governor explained that the move was aimed at repositioning the state for effective growth.

 

Credit : Punch

Permanent Secretary Explains State House Medical Centre Budget

The Permanent Secretary of the State House, Mr Jalal Arabi, has reacted to criticisms that the 3.219 billion naira budget for the State House Medical Center is over bloated.

Mr Arabi appeared before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs and the House Committee on Special Duties, to defend the 2016 budget appropriation to the state house.

Having given a breakdown of some of the key areas of the budget before the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs, the amount allocated to the medical centre attracted most criticism. The same questions he faced at the House of Representatives Committee on Special Duties.

The Permanent Secretary explained that the State House, among others, extends to Marina and the Dordan Barracks in Lagos and most of the infrastructure in the places are calling for attention and need to be made to function optimally, hence the need for increase in budgetary allocation to the State House.

He said that the improvement of the medical center will propel it to serve as a center of excellence and reduce medical tourism.

He added that the medical center does not charge fees for its services and hence does not generate revenue for itself.

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FG To Pay 16 Retired Perm Secs N92.44m Severance Package

The Federal Government is to pay N92.4million severance package to the 16 retired Permanent Secretaries following their disengagement from the civil service.

 

A 12-month breakdown of the above shows that each of the Permanent Secretaries will receive 300 per cent of their annual basic salary of N1, 925,865.00 which amounts to N5, 777,595.00 for each of the 16 retired public officers totalling N92,441,520.
According to Vanguard reports, investigations also revealed that the retired civil servants are to also receive a monthly pension of over N800,000 including allowances, following the fundamental review of the Nigerian pensions system, some categories of top public servants like permanent secretaries, police officers, professors and others, whose conditions of service prior to the enactment of the Pension Reform Act, 2004 allowed them to enjoy 100 per cent of their final pay as pension for life.
The 16 disengaged permanent secretaries are: Godknows Igali, Power; Obinna John Chukwu, FCT; Mrs. Fatima Bamidele, Interior; Dr Tunji Olaopa, Comm. & Tech; Ezekiel Oyebola Oyemomi, Women Affairs; Ibikun Odusote Abimbola, OSGF; Baba Umar Farouk, Mines & Steel Dev; Dauda Kigbu, Works; Mrs. Anastasia Mabi Daniel-Nwaobia, Min of Finance; Ossi George Afemefuna, Land, Housing & Urban Dev; Henry Edumudoh Akpan, OSGF.
Others are: Mr. Taiye Haruna, Petroleum; Aliyu Ismaila, Defence; Dr. James Obiegbu, Police Affairs; Linus Awute, Health, and Mrs. Nkechi Ejele, Tourism, Culture & National Orientation.

 

Credit : Vanguard

Senator Begs Jonathan To Forgive Suspended Permanent Secretary

The senator representing Bauchi central, Abdul Ningi, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to forgive the Foreign Affairs ministry’s permanent secretary, who was sanctioned last week for recalling Nigeria’s envoys to South Africa without authorisation.

Mr. Sheni was suspended for recalling the diplomats in protest of the xenophobia in South Africa, a move criticized by the South African government.

Mr. Ningi criticised Mr. Sheni for his action, but urged the Senate on Tuesday to intervene and plead with the president to tamper justice with mercy.

“I am aware that the president and Commander-in-Chief is responsible for such a call and also aware that the permanent secretary has no power whatsoever to recall an ambassador without a clear directive by the government,” he said.

“Knowing the anger and the mood of this country and believing that the Senate and indeed the National Assembly did the right thing in suggesting and urging for the executive to recall the ambassador.

“I therefore want this Senate not to look the other way and the president, Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces to tamper justice with mercy.

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Jonathan Suspends Permanent Secretary Over South Africa Envoy Recall

President Goodluck Jonathan has rebuked the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Danjuma Sheni, for allegedly prompting the recall of Nigeria’s envoys to South Africa without due authorisation, triggering a diplomatic spat between the two countries. The president queried Mr. Sheni Monday, and placed him on suspension to allow investigation into the matter, officials told PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday.

Nigeria announced the recall of its acting High Commissioner in Pretoria, Martin Cobham, and the deputy High Commissioner in Johannesburg, Uche Ajulu-Okeke, on Saturday, in protest of xenophobic attacks against African immigrants in South Africa. A statement from the foreign affairs ministry, attributed to the minister, Aminu Wali, said the diplomats were “summoned for consultations” over the attacks. South Africa slammed the decision, describing it as “unfortunate and regrettable”, and portraying Nigeria as opportunistic.

South Africa’s foreign affairs spokesperson, Clayson Monyela, said in a statement that his country was shocked that the Nigerian government would resort “to such an extraordinary diplomatic step to express outrage at actions or behaviour of another government”.

“We are not sure which actions or behaviour of the South African Government the Nigerian Government is protesting,” Mr. Monyela said. “If this action is based on the incidents of attacks on foreign nationals in some parts of our country, it would be curious for a sisterly country to want to exploit such a painful episode for whatever agenda.”

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