By Martin Opara
At last, the chips are down, as the alleged corrupt Permanent Secretary of the Imo State Ministry of Works, Engr. CE Egbuka who has been in the eye of the storm for some time now, following media reports of his questionable stupendous wealth and unbridled acquisition of property, has finally been relieved of his duty by the state government and replaced with Engr. Osuagwu, who has resumed duty as Permanent Secretary of the ministry.
A source who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity revealed that embattled Engr. Ebuka, who was due for retirement in few months, had applied for extension of service but unfortunately, his request coincided with the barrage of petitions that were hinged on his alleged sharp practices, corruption, highhandedness, oppression, intimidation, gross abuse of office and other unethical conducts that violate civil service rules, regulations and procedure.
Among the allegations against him, is that he used his office to harass and intimidate an investor who single handedly constructed a road to his establishment. “But rather than appreciate the entrepreneur’s effort and goodwill, Engr. Egbuka, attacked the man from all fronts, in a bid to frustrate and ground his establishment to the astonishment of many who felt disappointed because, “the man did a good job and did not deserve such ill treatment”.
Another source in the ministry, who also pleaded anonymity, said, “though Engr. Egbuka was controversial and had many scandals, he was retired and not sacked as believed in some quarters. It is also obvious that government was not happy with him, in view of his questionable wealth and attendant scandals that projected the state government in bad light and undermined it’s anti corruption crusade, hence he was relieved of his duty to serve as a deterrent to other civil servants.
Egbuka was among the 5 government officials ordered for arrest by Federal High court, Owerri in 2017 for allegedly disobeying court order, restraining them from entering Capt Emmanuel Ihenacho’s property.
It will be recalled that the Nigeria Watchdog Newspaper, had in strict adherence to its role as a whistle blower consistently highlighted and brought to the front burner, the multiple allegations of abuse of office against Engr. Egbuka, who was considered by many, as sacred cow.
Some insiders who commented on the latest development on condition of anonymity said, “Engr. Egbuka’s sack from the civil service is long overdue. He was a willing tool in the hands of ex-Governor Rochas Okorocha and his officials, with whom he connived to milk the state dry. How can a civil servant own high rise buildings scattered all over the state, excluding the mega filling station located along Port Harcourt Road,Owerri? How much is his monthly salary?”.