Buhari sacks suspended NECO Registrar, 4 others over corruption

By Felix Khanoba

President Muhammadu Buhari has formally approved the removal of Professor Charles Uwakwe as Registrar of the National Examination Council (NECO).

The President also approved the sack of four top management staff of Council from office alongside Prof. Uwakwe over alleged corrupt activities.

Prof. Uwakwe was earlier suspended by the Federal Government on 10 May, 2018 and Abubakar Gana was named as the acting Registrar of NECO.

Two of the four management staff whose appointments have also been terminated were also suspended in 2018.

A statement signed by the Head, Information and Public Relations at NECO, Azeez Sani, and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday said the registrar’s sack was contained in a letter dated 11 May, 2020 and signed by the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny Echono on behalf of the Education Minister.

The letter accuses Uwakwe of violating the Public Procurement Act (2007) and pursuant to PSR 030402 and part 1 schedule 4 (i) of NECO Establishment Act.

“After due consideration of the investigative panel on the allegation of unsatisfactory conduct levelled against you and some Management Staff of the Council, Mr. President in exercise of his powers, has approved your removal as Registrar/Chief Executive Officer of National Examinations Council with effect from the date of your suspension from duty,” part of the letter read.

The former registrar was directed to hand over all government’s properties in his custody to the Acting Registrar of the Council.

Also, in another letter with reference NO: FME/S/1419/C.3/T/98, dated 11th May, 2020, and signed by the Permanent Secretary, Arc. Sonny Echono, the President equally approved the dismissal from service of four management staff for various offences.

The affected officers are: Mr. Bamidele Olure, Acting Director (Finance and Accounts), Dr. Shina Adetona, Head of Procurement Division, Mr. Tayo Odukoya, Deputy Director and Barr. Babatunde Aina, Head of Legal/Board matters.

The letter stated that “after due consideration of the Financial report of the Review Committee, Mr. President has approved the recommendations as follows”.

“Mr. Bamidele Amos Olure, Acting Director (Finance and Accounts), dismissal from the service with effect from the date of his suspension from office having been found guilty of financial impropriety and not qualified to Head the Finance and Accounts Department”.

The letter also stated that Dr. Shina Adetona was dismissed from service with effect from the date he was suspended from office for alleged acts tantamount to fraudulent practices, sabotage and suppression of official records pursuant to PSR 030402.

Apart from the dismissal, Adetona will also be prosecuted for alleged violation of the Public Procurement Act as Head of Procurement as well as for misleading management on Procurement.

Also, Mr. Tayo Odukoya was dismissed from service for alleged acts of serious misconduct and will also be prosecuted for violating the Procurement Act.

The letter directed the Management of NECO to commence the process of recovering ill-gotten benefits/gains from Mr. Odukoya who acted as Director of a company (M/S I-web Solutions) while in service of Government.

On his part, Barr. Babatunde Aina was said to have been dismissed from service over alleged falsification of records and dishonesty in the sale of NECO Guest House.

The letter indicated that the dismissal of Barr. Aina from service is without prejudice to the investigation being carried out by EFCC on the sale of the NECO Guest House.

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