The President Muhammadu Buhari administration is set to beam its searchlight on five of the 17 recently retired permanent secretaries with indications emerging on Wednesday that the affected officials may soon be arraigned for alleged corruption.
It was learnt that one of the ex-perm secs slated for trial has already been a guest of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
Another, who is widely regarded in federal civil service circles as “brilliant”, allegedly indulged in using public funds to purchase exotic vehicles, embark on foreign trips and paying outrageous hotel bills.
It was also learnt that two of those involved were linked to alleged bribery scandals.
The retired Permanent Secretaries include Aliyu Ismaila; Godknows Igali; Alhaji Baba Farouk; Abdulkadir Musa; Linus Awute; Fatima Bamidele; Obinna John Chukwu; Ezekiel Oyemomi; Anasthesia Nwaobia; Tunji Olaopa; George A. Ossi ; Mike John Nwabiala; Mohammed Bashar and Abdullahi Yola.
The fate of four others was unknown yesterday as they were either not given retirement letters or put on the list of those deployed.
The floating permanent secretaries are: Odusote Ibukun; Henry Akpan, Nkechi Ejele and Dr. James Obiagwu.
According to investigation by The NATION, the Presidency was worried by security reports that many permanent secretaries embezzled public funds with impunity and were living way above their means.
The intelligence reports also revealed large-scale acquisition of property by permanent secretaries and top directors in the civil service.
Some of the allegations being probed include acquisition of choice properties; $4.5b tax holidays; N1.9billion Ebola Fund (including N900million for isolation tents); $2billion arms deal; N29billion fictitious contracts; N275.5million budget for 2015 poll monitoring; the mismanagement of subsidy funds; questionable waivers and N2.4 billion fertiliser scam.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “About five of the retired permanent secretaries might face trial based on discreet investigation by some security agencies on how they mismanaged their ministries.
“Some of these permanent secretaries appeared before one or two anti-graft agencies for questioning. They are already aware of their pending trial.
“Some of these senior civil servants have been pleading for soft landing but the government may not listen to them”.
When asked to be specific on those affected, the source simply said the “anti-graft agencies will soon take charge”.
On the fate of the floating permanent secretaries, a source said: “I think there was a little error in the compilation of the list of those retired. While the Presidency put the figure at 17, a statement by the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation said it was 16.
“When the list of deployment was released, these permanent secretaries were neither among those retired nor assigned.
“The Head of Service is making necessary clarifications from the Presidency”.
Saraki Leads PDP’s Nati youonal Reconciliation Panel
Former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki has been appointed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the chairman of its National Reconciliation Committee.
The committee made up of five other members is expected to work to resolve grievances and disagreements among party members across the country.
This development was confirmed in a tweet late on Monday night by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.
— Kola Ologbondiyan (@officialKolaO) November 23, 2020
Other members of the committee are former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Pius Ayim; former Governors Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), and Ibrahim Shema (Katsina); as well as former House Minority Leader, Mulikat Akande.
Fashola: If We Keep Our Promises, APC Will Retain Power In 2023
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has expressed optimism that Nigerians will still vote the All Progressives Congress (APC) back to power in 2023.
Fashola, however, added that the only thing that can make Nigerians not to vote for the APC is if the party fails to fulfill its campaign promises to them.
The Minister made this remark while speaking with journalists on Monday in Abuja.
He noted that even if the promises are not 100% fulfilled but the citizens see signs of commitment and progress, other parties should forget about displacing APC in 2023.
The former Lagos State Governor added that opposition parties are not doing better than the APC, hence should not expect Nigerians to vote for them come 2023.
He said: “Some governors have joined us, from where we think we could not get voters before. To retain power in 2023, certainly if we keep our promises, people will vote for us. It is that simple, that is politics,” the former Lagos governor said.
“If you do what you say you will do, even if you don’t do hundred percent and they see that you are making progress, they will even want you to finish what you started.”
Akeredolu Sacks Ondo Attorney-General, Olawoye
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has sacked the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Kola Olawoye.
This was made known in a statement on Monday by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Segun Ajiboye.
Akeredolu immediately appointed a human rights lawyer, Mr. Charles Titiloye, as the new Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
According to the statement, the Ondo State governor would forward Titiloye’s name to the State House of Assembly for confirmation.
Akeredolu also expressed his appreciation to the sacked commissioner for services rendered to the state.
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