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Six Delta civil servants arrested over attempt to steal N7.3billion

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  •  Okowa Approves N372M For WASEC, NABTEB

By Nosa Eresoyen, Asaba

Six Civil Servants in Asaba, Delta State (names withheld) have been reportedly arrested for alleged attempt to defraud the state government.

Although the amount was not specified, but unconfirmed sources said the money was to the tune of N7.3billion salary for January, 2016.

The Delta State Government through the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. David Edevbie at a news conference in Asaba on Tuesday, disclosed that the State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa’s swift intervention saved the state from being defrauded by the suspects during the payment of January 2016 salary.

Mr. David Edevbie who spoke through the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah said: “Salaries of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as well as the Polytechnics’ staff was delayed due to an alert on Wednesday evening on February 3, 2016 of attempt to defraud the state through the payment of salaries”.

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In a press statement issued by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. David Edevbie, the statement reads: “The Permanent Secretary cum Accountant General on receiving the threat, immediately informed His Excellency, The Governor who directed that the security agencies in the state, as well as the bank should be inform immediately”. Adding that he also directed the Permanent Secretary/Accountant General to put in place additional control measure to forestall future attempts on the account.

While disclosing that arrests have been made, the Commissioner in the statement emphasized: “This administration has a zero tolerance for fraud and we urge all who have such intent to desist from such” and enjoined Deltans to always report unscrupulous activities for appropriate action, adding that Okowa’s administration was committed
to credible, transparent and accountable stewardship to the people of the state.

Meanwhile the state government is to spend the sum of N372.9million for the payment of fees for the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) and National Business Technical Board Education (NABTEB) Mr. Patrick Ukah, the state Commissioner for Information told journalists at a news conference in Asaba on Tuesday after the State
Executive Council Meeting held.

According to Mr. Ukah who was accompanied by the Commissioner for Works, Mr. James Augoye; Mr. Chinedu Ebie and Mr. Joseph Ogeh, his Basic and Secondary Education and Housing counterparts respectively, payment of the Examination fees was in line with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s free Education policy for primary and secondary school students.

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“EXCO agreed to pay the enrolment fees and incidental cost for SSS 3 and Vocational Students in Delta State Public, Senior Secondary School and Technical Colleges”, Commissioner Ukah said, adding, “the total number of students to be enrolled for the 2016 SSCE and NABTEB (National Board for Technical Examination) Certificate Examination for
Vocational Students in the state is 28,898”.

While stating that EXCO approved the construction of a new central Ultra-Modern Secretariat Complex in Asaba to house all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) operating from rented structures for administrative convenience Mr. Ukah said EXCO approved the revocation of the contract for the construction of Palace Road, Igbodo in Ika
North East Local Government Area of the state; construction of Afiesere/Ofuoma-Ughelli Road; the construction of section A and B of the Warri/Effurun Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.

Investigation revealed that the suspects (Civil Servants) are currently being detained at the State Police CID Office in Asaba. But the police image maker in the state, Mrs. Celestina Kalu who confirmed the arrest of the suspects declined to speak further on the issue.

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