Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has seized the October salaries of his commissioners, deputy chief of staff, special advisers and council chairmen for coming late to state functions.
Umahi announced the suspension of the salaries on the occasion of a school debate organised as part of activities marking the country’s 55th independence and the 19th anniversary of the creation of the state. The governor was disappointed by the scanty attendance at the venue and after he ordered the Head of Service, Mr. Chamberlin Nwele, to take the roll call of the government official present at the function and announce immediately the suspension of salaries of those absent. He said that the absentee officials will forfeit their October salaries and their September over heads.
There was also a mild drama outside the venue of the event as the Deputy Governor, Kelechi Igwe, and the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Bernard Odoh, who arrived the venue of the debate a few minutes after the governor arrived, were also locked out.
The deputy governor and the SSG were later allowed to enter into the conference centre having spent more than 15 minutes outside.
Officials affected included the newly appointed 13 caretaker committee chairmen, the 64 Development Center Coordinators, the Deputy Chief of Staff and the Principal Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Clement Nweke.
Others include the state Commissioner for Environment, Moses Ali; Commissioner for Economic Empowerment and Poverty Alleviation, Sabinus Nwankwegu; and Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Charles Akpuenika, among others.
The governor also suspended the salaries of some Personal Assistants, Senior Special Assistants, Special Advisers and other government functionaries for their lateness to the school debate titled “Government’s anti-corruption crusade and internally generated revenue drive,” held at the Akanu Ibiam International Conference Centre, Abakaliki.