After much dilly-dallying, President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday sacked the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita.
Controversy had been trailing the HOCSOF for some months after she reportedly had a face-off with Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.
She was put under probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over alleged misappropriation involving one of her aides but was later cleared.
Amid the furore that greeted the probe, she tendered her resignation but it was rejected.
However, a statement by Mr. Willie Bassey*
Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Saud she had been replaced by Dr. (Mrs.) Folashade Exam, who was the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
However, the statement indicated that the probe may have been revived for inexplicable reasons.
It said Buhari had directed Oyo-Ita to “proceed on an indefinite leave to allow conclusion of the investigation being carried out by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
It added: “The President has also approved the extension of the tenure of seven (7) retiring Permanent Secretaries for a period of one calendar year with effect from 1st October, 2019 to ensure stability in the Federal Civil Service and effective delivery on the nine priority areas of the administration as well as the mandates given to the new Ministers.
The affected Permanent Secretaries are:
i. Mrs. Georgina Ehuriah – Ministry of Interior
ii. Mrs. Ifeoma I. Anagbogu – Federal Ministry of Women Affairs
iii. Mrs. Grace Gekpe – Federal Ministry of Information & Culture
iv. Dr. Umar M. Bello – Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural
v. Suleiman Mustapha Lawal – Ministry of Foreign Affairs
vi. Mrs. Comfort C. Ekaro – Federal Ministry of Water Resources
vii. Mr. Olusegun A. Adekunle – General Services Office (Office of the
Secretary to the Government of the Federation)
Similarly, Mr. President has directed the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to commence the process for the selection of new Permanent Secretaries to replace all retiring Permanent Secretaries.
The decision of Government to extend the tenure of these Permanent Secretaries is premised on the need to ensure that the new Ministers are properly guided, briefed about their sectors and to ensure that a solid foundation is laid for the delivery on the Presidential Mandate which they jointly signed.
The Permanent Secretaries will also help the Ministers to manage the process for the preparation of the 2020 Budget in line with the commitment of Government to return to the January-December budget circle and help develop various policies and programmes aimed at lifting 100million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
The action of Mr. President is in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 171 (2) d of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).”