A mild drama ensued at the venue of the Kogi State Staff Screening Appeal on Monday when a lady, Alalonu Vivian Chinyere Salawu, confessed how one-time Deputy Governor of the State, Dr. Philip Salawu, approved her appointment as Medical Officer on Grade Level 13 Step 6 despite having only a secondary school certificate with four credits.
It was reliably gathered that members of the Screening Appeal Committee raised eyebrows over the anomaly when one of them spotted it.
Following the discovery, she was referred to the Quality Assurance Team of the Committee for further interrogation.
According to findings by The Politico, it was while answering questions before the team that the cat was let out of the bag.
She said “The former Deputy Governor, Dr Philip Salawu, directed his personal assistant to write the application on my behalf and I was asked to sign. Salawu immediately recommended me for employment as Medical Officer, a directive which was immediately carried out by the Permanent Secretary.
“I was taking the salary to the wife of the former Deputy Governor through her Personal Assistant while they gave me only 15,000 naira every month. When they were about to leave government, Salawu quickly directed that I be converted to a Clerical Officer and I was posted out of his office to the Office of the Head of Service.”
Vivian claimed to be married to the younger brother of Grace Salawu, wife of the former Deputy Governor.
Addressing newsmen at the Screening Appeal Centre, a member of the Committee and the Director General on Media and Publicity to the Governor, Kingsley Fanwo, said the screening exercise had been quite revealing.
“We need to applaud the previous committee for doing a great job. The screening sxercise was aimed at saving the service from imminent collapse and to save the lives of the people. Imagine a secondary school certificate holder employed as Medical Officer. They almost killed this state. For her to come to appeal shows the audacity of fraud.
“These are the people castigating government without telling the world the fraud they have been perpetrating. Governor Yahaya Bello is poised to ensure his reforms in the civil service sails through.”
It would be recalled that the state government decided to give affected workers a window of justice to ventilate their complaints and receive fair hearing.
Cases of certificate forgery, age alteration and unexplained cash inflow into civil servants’ accounts have so far been discovered at the centre according to the screening committee.
Meanwhile, Governor Yahaya Bello had given a complainant who gave birth at the centre of the screening a one million naira gift last Saturday.
When the Governor announced the donation at the centre and handed over the cash to the beneficiary, the crowd there reportedly went agog, showering praises on the Governor.