By Peter Ugah, Lafia
NASARAWA State House of Assembly has suspended its Deputy Minority Leader, Hon Luka Iliya Zhekaba (PDP- Obi 2) for his alleged involvement in the illegal employment of 38 secondary school teachers in the state.
Speaker of the Assembly, Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, announced the suspension after the House deliberated on the report of its standing Committee on Education on the recruitment of 366 teachers and 38 fake teachers on the pay roll of the state government during the House proceedings in Lafia on Monday.
The Assembly also recommended that Mr. Anthony Ladan, a Senior Accountant, Bureau for Salaries, who had admitted including the names of the 38 controversial teachers into the pay roll of the state government without any directive from the state commissioner of finance and Mr. Michael Adonye Jonyi, a staff of the ministry of education, who is said to be a syndicate should proceed on compulsory retirement.
“Mr John Nuhu, a former staff of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Ministry of Information, a syndicate of the fake employment is to be handed over to the appropriate authority for prosecution”
The House further posited that the Director of the Bureau for Salaries, Mr. Sulley Daheer and other staff of the Bureau be redeployed to other departments of the state Ministry of Finance, noting that a person with ICT knowledge with proven integrity be deployed to the Bureau for Salaries to take over the salaries of civil servants in the state.
The Committee recommended that Hon. Zhekaba, be suspended and an Ad-hoc committee be set up to investigate his alleged involvement in the fake employment of the teachers, a recommendation that was unanimously adopted by the House.
“I hereby set up three man Ad- hoc committee to investigate his (Zhekaba) alleged involvement in the employment saga. The Committee is to report back to the House within two weeks”
“Hon Suleiman Yakubu Azara, Member representing Awe South constituency is the Chairman of the Committee, Hon Usman Labaran Shafa, member representing Toto/ Gadabuke constituency and Hon Samuel Tsebe, member representing Akwanga South as members of the committee”
“While Mr Ibrahim Musa, the Deputy Clerk of the House is the Secretary of the committee”. He said.
Speaker Balarabe Abdullahi pointed out that the House was not against the employment of the teachers but insisted that due process must be followed in the interest of equity and fairness, adding that recruitment of teachers should be a periodic exercise.
The speaker urged the management of the state Teachers Service Commission ( TSC) to sit up to its statutory responsibility in the interest of the education sector, calling on the state government to conduct independent investigation into the activities of MDAs to sanitize the system.
Earlier, Hon Daniel Ogazi, Chairman of the Committee, while presenting the report said that the Committee found out that the syndicates collected between N50,000 and N100,000 to issue fake appointment letters to the applicants.
He told the House that the Committee had invited and interacted with the managements of the ministries of Education, Finance and Accountant General of the state, including the syndicates, one of the victims, Caroline Barde among others.
Hon Tanko Tunga, the Majority Leader of the House moved a motion for the adoption of the report and was seconded by the Deputy Minority Leader, Hon Luka Iliya Zhekaba.
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