Fresh facts have emerged on how the Chairperson of the Delta State Civil Service Commission (CSC), Mrs. Patience Nkem Okwuofu, allegedly with the permission of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, destroyed evidence of employment of over 2000 civil servants employed by the immediate past administration of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan.
On the assumption of office as governor, Okowa ordered the sack of more than 2000 civil servants employed by the Uduaghan administration. The sack, claimed the government, was informed by the discovery of alleged infidelity in the employment exercise. However, Okowa promised to recall those genuinely employed after a verification exercise must have been carried out.
That promise is unlikely to be fulfilled. SaharaReporters reliably learned that in order not to recall any of those affected, Mrs. Okwuofu, on the instruction of Okowa, ordered that all files belonging to the sacked civil servants as well as Uduaghan's approval of the exercise be burnt.
Last Tuesday, Mrs. Okwuofu said the state government was not going to revisit the issue of those whose appointment into the state civil service by the immediate past administration was put on hold by the present administration.
"The recruitment exercise fell short of what the standard should be. I was shocked to note that even as we speak, there is no existing file in the commission on that particular recruitment. Even the director in charge of hiring and promotions could not produce any file that has to do with the said recruitment.
“From asking questions upon my assumption of office, I found out that everything about the recruitment exercise was irregular. Again, I cannot sight the governor’s approval for the recruitment; there was no record anywhere showing that those recruited were interviewed or examined before they were given appointment letters. How can people whose credentials were not seen by the Commission be placed on a particular grade level or designation. We found out that the whole exercise was fouled." Okwuofu stated.
A senior civil servant in the office of the Head of Service told SaharaReporters that Mrs. Okwuofu lied on the recruitment exercise. The staff member alleged that files and Uduaghan's approvals of the exercise were ordered burnt by Mrs. Okwuofu.
"There were approvals. They all passed through the Head of Service. I mean all the files. Mrs. Okwuofu's action has rubbished the Okowa government, the Civil service Commission as well as the Head of Service, Mr. Patrick Origho, whose office all the files and approvals went through.
"The Head of Service must come out to respond to Mrs. Okwuofu and prove that there were documents for the last recruitment. "She alleged that procedure required in the civil service commission recruitment exercise were not duly followed.
"This is far from the truth because the commission was advertised, Deltans applied online, candidates were shortlisted, and the interview was conducted over three days, during which qualifications were verified at the Association of Senior Civil Servants Secretariat." the staff stated.
Also reacting to Mrs. Nkem Okwuofu's claims, a former board member of the CSC, who pleaded for anonymity, disclosed that members of the former board were told that files and other evidence related to his exercise were have been burnt on the orders of Mrs. Okuwofu.
The former board member also disagreed with Mrs. Okuwofu's assessment of the exercise, saying that it substantially followed due process. He added that files and other documents on the exercise were left in the office of Mrs. Okuwofu's predecessor in office.
The former board member said Mrs. Okwuofu is out to discredit the previous administration because she was sacked by Uduaghan from the boards of Delta Rainbow Television (DRTV) and the Local Government Service Commission, which she chaired at different times.
"Interviews were conducted batch by batch for three days. Subsequently, appointment letters were issued to successful candidates. Mrs. Okwuofu is a novice as far as the civil service is concerned. The list of employees recruited, as at the time we were leaving office, was in the possession of the permanent secretary who is a professional." the former board member stated.
Speaking on behalf of the sacked civil servants, Mr. Obus Regha, also, a victim, disagreed with Mrs. Okwuofu. He expressed surprise that Mrs. Okwuofu could claim that there are no documents related to the exercise.
He added that the suspended civil servants, Delta State Activists Front, unemployed youths, unemployed graduates and well-meaning Deltans had demanded the immediate resignation of Mrs. Okwuofu.
Attempts to speak with Mrs. Okwuofu were futile as she did not answer calls to her phone neither did she reply to text messages.