Gov. Dave Umahi of Ebonyi on Tuesday directed the immediate disengagement of 83 staff of the state College of Education, Ikwo, over alleged irregularities in their appointments.
Mr. Umahi gave the order in Abakaliki while receiving reports of the committees set up to investigate the institution’s administration, state’s higher education sector and the international market, respectively.
According to him, the disengagement should be effected within one week.
“This must be done before the government reviews the report submitted by the committee or visits the institution as also recommended.
“It is normal to recruit staff to achieve institutions’ accreditation objectives but the fact remains that they are not permanent staff.
“The practice encourages management of institutions to consciously or otherwise regularise such appointments without due process,” he said.
The governor also berated officials who make appointments without recourse to the geographical spread of the state.
“Appointments should reflect all areas of the state as it is the only way it would remain peaceful and united while achieving all its developmental objectives.
“I, however, thank the committee for painstakingly discharging its duties, though offences already committed were not mentioned which definitely would not be tolerated,” he said.
Mr. Umahi also assured the people that all contractors and concerned individuals who diverted the state’s funds would be prosecuted and the funds recovered.
“We have invited the contractors handling the international market severally for ‘joint measurement’ exercises but they have always declined.
“Contractual laws stipulate that where a concerned party fails to participate in such exercise, the measurement executed by subsisting ministries stands.
“We would, therefore, accept and adopt the stipulated measurements of the concerned ministries and would soon invoke relevant constitutional provisions to recover all state funds from such contractors,’’ he
Fidelis Nwankwo, chairman of the committee investigating activities of the college, said the committee received over 25 petitions against the management but most of them could not be substantiated.
Mr. Nwankwo, a former Minister of State for Health, noted that it could not substantiate claims that the management failed to remit necessary funds to the state government.
“The allegation that the provost worked for the Labour Party and victimised non-Labour Party supporters in the institution during the last elections could not be substantiated.
“We also noted that the 83 staff recruited by the institution assisted it in securing accreditation for its numerous programmes as the management should be retained to consolidate on its development strides,” he said.
Dave Nwachukwu, chairman of the committee on the International Market, said the previous administration in the state paid contractors handling the project N16 billion out of the N24 billion earmarked for the project.
“It is, however, unfortunate that the level of work executed on the project does not reflect the amount so far expended on it, as this hampers the usage of the facility for the intended economic purposes,” he said.