The association protested the false arrest of their members by one of the governor’s advisers.
The Ogun State Branch of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria on Friday called on the state government and police to ensure that due process is followed in the investigation of twenty-two civil servants accused of involvement in a N200 million West Africa Examination Council, WAEC, fees fraud.
The state government said it uncovered the fraud that saw education ministry officials collaborate with some secondary school principals to inflate the list of students writing the WAEC exams in order to make money from the government which is paying for the exams.
The association, an affiliate of Trade Union Congress, TUC, made the call in a press statement after an emergency meeting held in Abeokuta.
In the statement, the association recalled that the state government had goofed last year August, when some of its members were arrested for allegedly collecting N25million bribe from a consultant working with the State Internal Revenue Service. The allegations were eventually dropped after investigations showed no basis for it. They lamented that their wrongfully-accused members still carry the stigma of bribe takers.
The statement signed by the association’s secretary, Olusegun Adebiyi, pointed out the false information passed out at the detention of the 22 suspects allegedly involved in the WAEC fees case. The government had sent out a statement announcing the arrest of the suspects on Tuesday, May 21 by the police. However, it was the Governor’s Senior Special Adviser on Security Matters, Patrick Akinduro- and not the police- who took law into his hands and personally detained the suspects for twenty-four hours.
“Information had it that the Senior Special Assistant to the Ogun State Governor on Security Matter, Mr Patrick Akinsola Akinduro assumed the role of the State Commissioner of Police,” the statement read.”The SSA enlisted the services of private security men to arrest and detain the first four officers of Ogun State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. It was only on Wednesday, 22nd May, 2013 that the SSA handed over the four officers earlier detained by him to the officers of Ogun State Police Command, State Headquarters, Eleweran, Abeokuta at about 7.30pm following pressure from the association.”
The association further added that, the private investigators engaged by Mr. Akinduro intimidated and harassed the civil servants. The civil servants then insisted that the rights of their members should be respected at all times.
“We hereby, on behalf of all members of our association, call on the government of Ogun State to follow due process in the investigation into the alleged N200millin WAEC scam with a view to getting to the root of the case,” it said.