The governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, on Tuesday sacked the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Prof. Bernard Odoh who had many hours earlier tendered his letter of voluntary resignation.
The state commissioner for information Emmanuel Onwe had also earlier announced the acceptance of the letter of resignation of Odoh and appointment of Mr. Hyginus Nwokwu as the new SSG in a statement.
But while receiving over 20,000 indigenes of the state at the Government’s house later in the day, Governor Umahi said he had rejected the resignation letter of Prof. Odoh because it was tendered on a public holiday.
According to him, this made the resignation of Odoh and the appointment of MR. Hyginus null and void.
The governor also claimed that the ex SSG was being investigated for meddling in the investigation of a murder case in his area before his resignation.
“When the resignation happened, senior members of my cabinet came together and said let’s accept the resignation and wish him well. But I knelt down and said Lord, my heart is clean before this young man and if I be called of God let us leave the matter before God.
“I had called him on Saturday and said my son, murder case is very bad and we are doing an investigation. I want you to come and see me so I can speak with you and advise you as a father and he agreed.
“Initially he was denying that there was no problem but towards the end of our discussion he said to me that he would like to make one or two comments. But I said when you come you can make them. So, he switched off his phone till Monday.
“On Monday, he sent me a text that his health was failing him and that he was going to resign and he will let me know. Before you know, I started hearing and seeing that he has resigned on social media. So I am nullifying the acceptance that was done by government officials including the appointment of his replacement because they were all done on public holiday.
“But by the powers conferred on me as the governor of the state, I hereby announce the sack of Prof. Odoh as SSG and the investigation for meddling in a murder case must be carried out thoroughly”.
But it was gathered that governor’s reaction was triggered by the claims of the ex -SSG that he was not given freedom to perform his duties effectively among other allegations he leveled against Umahi in the letter.