v  Allegedly aids fraud in local govt

The Permanent Secretary in the Imo State Local Government Service Commission, Mrs Rose Izuogu, whose continued stay in service several months after she formally retired from service has continued to elicit tension and controversy, is said to be presently in the eye of the storm as most of the aggrieved staff are threatening a show down.

It was gathered that Mrs Izuogu, who was, like the Auditor General for Local Government, Osita Nwosu, whose tenure has also expired transferred from her former duty post as Permanent Secretary, Establishments, in the Office of the Head of Service to the Local Government Service Commission formally retired from the state civil service in October last year and has since then refused to vacate office, despite protests by aggrieved staff and other concerned people who believe in due process.

A source who spoke to this reporter on condition of anonymity, said, “Madam actually retired in October last year but her tenure was extended by 3 months. The 3 months has also expired, yet she has refused to vacate office. She ought to have actually retired earlier than October 2020, but stayed till then because her records of service were alleged to have been doctored. There are also speculations that the government is comfortable with her continued stay in office because she allegedly aids and abets fraud in the system.

“It is obvious that while people are agitating about the sit tight syndrome of Osita Nwosu as the Auditor General (local government) Mrs Izuogu’s case is generating more tension because of her antecedents”.

The source further stated that contrary to laid down procedure that the Board of the Local Government Service Commission, should under normal circumstances, comprise of one person each from the three senatorial zones in the state, the commission presently does not have a Board, hence Mrs Izuogu performs the role of Permanent Secretary and that of the Board, as she keeps telling those in authority that there is no need to inaugurate a Board for the commission.

It was also gathered that Mrs Izuogu is the major cause of the crises and disharmony in the Imo State local government system, because she constantly misinforms the state government about developments and happenings for selfish interests. “For instance the problem of non payment of salaries and pensions of staff of the various local government councils in the state are traceable to her as she does not tell the government the truth about what the true position is.

It is obvious from the foregoing, that the local government system in the state is being run by strangers who under normal circumstances should not have anything to do with the sensitive third tier of government that is the closets to and should address the needs of the people at the grassroots. “Rose Izuogu like Nwosu has retired from service and does not have the lawful and legal right to preside over the affairs of the commission or take sensitive decisions. All of them, including the Interim Management Chairman don’t have the locus standi to question the excesses of the executive, yet the local government system receives and disburses monthly allocations that run into several millions. This is a deliberate ploy to give the governor a blank cheque to do as he pleases”.  

When contacted, Mrs Rose Izuogu warned our reporter never to call her gain regarding her  tenure elongation as she did not extend her stay as civil servant.She claimed that the governor approved her continued stay and only him can ask her to leave.She said, if our reporter wishes to know on what condition she has remained in the office, he should approach the governor or head of service for explanation.