Buhari Fires Perm Sec over Fraud
By Dipo Olowookere
A permanent secretary from the Federal Secretariat in Abuja has been sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari, Vanguard reports.
The senior government official was said to have used his office to award phantom contracts to himself worth billions of Naira.
Vanguard quoted a source in the ministry to have stated that the sacked permanent secretary, appointed in 2015 by Mr Buhari, was fired on Tuesday and was taken away by two police officers.
A Presidency source confirmed to Vanguard that the President ordered the immediate removal of the top civil servant, who presided over the affairs of one of the strategic ministries handling intervention programmes in the country following evidence that he awarded contracts to companies belonging to him.
Vanguard learned that the sacked permanent secretary had deployed several strategies to evade a sting operation, which had been planned by one of the anti-graft agencies, thereby making it impossible for the operatives to track him down.
It was learned that key officials of the ministry, who got wind of the illicit activities of the permanent secretary, drew the attention of security agencies to the development and called for urgent investigation of the man.
One of the security agency officials, who handled the investigation of the sacked permanent secretary, told our correspondent that the sting operation planned against the official was frustrated by him and his agents, forcing them to delay his arrest since January this year.
“We have been monitoring the man and the various companies being used by him to siphon huge sums of money from the ministry, which handles intervention programmes in the Niger Delta region but he has been very smart and suspicious of our movement, thereby making it impossible for us to arrest him despite the ambush we laid for him and his cronies,” one of the operatives told Vanguard.
He said, “But Mr President did not waste time in asking the Head of Service of the Federation to sack the man with immediate effect as soon as he got to know that the man had used over 500 companies to award fake contracts to himself and move huge sums of money from the ministry in question.”
“In fact, the discovery of the large scale fraud in the ministry, which has suffered a lot of project failure and the subsequent sacking of the permanent secretary by Mr President, followed painstaking investigation by the anti-corruption agencies, which will soon charge the man to court,” the source added.