Written by Godfrey AKON

NECO: Why Buhari sacked Uwakwe, four others

The National Examinations Council, NECO, says President Muhammadu Buhari approved the termination of the appointment of Prof. Charles Uwakwe as the Registrar and Chief Executive of the council following his indictment on violation of the procurement Act.

Uwakwe and two directors of the agency were suspended in 2018 over financial impropriety in contract allocation amounting to N25 billion.

Buhari on Wednesday conveyed their dismissal a letter signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Arc. Sonny Echono, on behalf of the Education Minister, Malam Adamu Adamu.

The letter dated May 11, 2020, accused 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,” the letter read in part.

A statement by NECO'S Head of Information and Public Relations, Mr Azeez Sani, said Uwakwe was directed to hand over all government properties in his custody to the Acting Registrar of the Council.

Buhari also approved the dismissal of four management staff of the council from service for various offences in another letter to with reference no: FME/S/1419/C.3/T/98 on May 11, 2020, signed by Echono.

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

Recall that Prof. Uwakwe and two of the dismissed Management Staff were on 10th May, 2018 placed on suspension while an investigative panel was constituted to probe the allegations of unsatisfactory conduct levelled against them.

“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.

"Adetona was dismissed from service with effect from the date he was suspended from office for acts tantamount to fraudulent practices, sabotage and suppression of official records pursuant to PSR 030402, b and t.

"He is also to be prosecuted in line with section 58 (5) (a & b) of the Public Procurement Act (PPA) (2007) for flagrant violation of PPA 2007 as Head of Procurement and misleading Management on Procurement," the statement stated.

It further noted that Odukoya was dismissed from service for acts of serious misconduct which violates PSR 030301 and PSR 030402, q, t, w.

"He is to be prosecuted in line with section 58 (5) (a) and (b) of the Public Procurement Act (2007) for flagrant violation of the Act," the statement said.

The management of NECO was also directed to commence the process of recovering ill-gotten benefits/gains from Odukoya who acted as Director of a company while in government service.

"Barrister Babatunde Aina was dismissed from service for falsification of records and dishonesty in the sale of NECO Guest House, which violates section 2609 (a) of the Financial Regulations (FR) and PPA (2007) part X section 55 (2) - (4) and section 56 which are tantamount to serious misconduct pursuant to PSR 030301 (g), PSR 030402 (a) and PSR 030402 (m)," it said.

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



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