Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power and Energy Ebonyi State, Godwin Nwankwo, has been suspended by the State Government.
Also suspended is the Special Assistant to Governor David Umahi on Public Utilities, Emmanuel Nwangbo.
The duo were suspended over the alleged theft of diesel meant for streetlights in the state estimated at about N150m.
Commissioner for Information, Uchenna Orji, stated this in a statement on Wednesday after the State Executive Council Meeting.
He said the council received a report on the persistent theft of diesel meant for streetlights handled by the Ministry of Power and Energy which has at times thrown the State into darkness.
“Council noted the disturbing volumes of diesel that have been lost in the hands of the persons involved in the business of streetlight.
“Council therefore resolved that all concerned in the business of the streetlight supervision in the State be investigated by the Department of State Security Service with a view to unmasking the perpetrators.
“The Head of Service was further directed to cause a thorough investigation of the Ministry’s staff involved in the theft of diesel and take appropriate actions as required by the rules of the State Civil Service,” Mr Orji said.
He said the council ordered the suspension of the duo because they are directly responsible for supervision of streetlights under the Ministry of Power.
Meanwhile, the State Government has received the N1.5bn special ecological fund approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for the Ogwuma Edda in Afikpo South Local Government Area.
Mr Orji said the State Executive Council while appreciating the president for prompt release of the funds approved that it be immediately invested solely for the purpose it was released.
He said the council therefore directed for immediate evacuation of residents still staying in the affected area to enable government move in to stop the situation from further deteriorating.
Mr Orji said the council also approved a waiver for employment of 60 Lawyers in the State Civil Service due to the increase in crime waves in the society and the need not to overstretch the existing Law officers in the Ministry of Justice.
He also revealed that the Council also approved the sum of N2.5bn for the procurement of rice and other gift items for distribution to different groups, Stakeholders and organizations in Ebonyi State for their Christmas celebration.