Plateau suspends top local govt officials for alleged fraud

Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong [Photo credit: Plateau News Online]

The Plateau State government has suspended some top local government officials for alleged “financial recklessness” .

Among those suspended are all the Directors of Personnel Management (DPMs), Directors of Finance and Accounts (DFAs), as well as cashiers of the 17 local governments.

Also suspended are some auditors, some Deputy DPMs, Deputy DFAs and the heads of works and agriculture departments of some of the local governments.

A top official in the Ministry of Local and Chieftaincy Affairs, who craved anonymity, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Jos, on Tuesday, that the officers were first queried before the suspension.

“Following their interdiction, we queried them. The actions we took were based on their individual responses to the queries,” the official said.

He said that the suspended officials had been placed on half salary pending the final determination of their cases.

“We are still investigating individual cases to ascertain the level of involvement of each officer; those cleared will be recalled while those found wanting will be sacked,” the source told NAN.

The source declined to give the total number of officials involved, but NAN confirmed that seven officers were suspended from Quan Pan, six each from Pankshin, Mangu and Kanke, while four were affected in Bokkos Local Government.

NAN checks showed that the probe panel worked on a report submitted by an investigation committee set up by former Governor Jonah Jang’s administration to dig into alleged financial recklessness in the local governments.

Dan Manjang, Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to Gov Simon Lalong, who confirmed the suspension, said that government based its actions on the recommendations contained in the white paper of the panel.

“The affected officials were indicted; they all have questions to answer. They have been placed on suspension while we look into the levels of their involvement,” he said.

Mr. Manjang, however, dismissed allegations that the action was a witch hunt.

“The suspension is not a witch hunt. We have no reason to witch hunt anyone. The investigation committee was set up by the past administration and we are only acting on its findings and recommendations,” he said.



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