By Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
The Kogi State Government has said the late director in the state civil service, Mr. Edward Soje, who committed suicide was paid in December last year.
According to a statement issued yesterday night by the state Head of Service, Mrs. Deborah Ogunmola,Â Soje continued to receive his salaries up till December 2016, even when the staff screening and verification exercise was ongoing.
â€œHis pay was stopped after proof emerged that he falsified his age records. â€œFollowing engagements with the labour unions which spanned several months, the Kogi State governor magnanimously commuted the disciplinary action against certain categories of offenders by granting them pardon.Â Soje fell into that category.
â€œPardoned staff were processed for reinstatement and payment in batches.Â Soje was in the September 2017 batch and he was aware of this fact.
â€œThe Kogi State Teaching Service Commission where he worked had forwarded a template for payment to the government and Soje was aware that he was listed to receive six months pay, leaving only two months (August and September)Â outstanding,â€ she stressed
According to her, Soje was not just her staff, he was also married to her sister-in-law.
â€œHis death is shocking, both as one related to him in some way and one responsible for him in an official capacity.
â€œI met with him earlier last week and we discussed his situation, including the progress made in resolving his employment issues.
â€œThere was no hint of this horrible decision in his demeanour neither did he appear to me as one who was depressed, let alone contemplating suicide. I am therefore understandably shocked by all of this.
â€œGovernment condoles with his family, especially his wife and three children. While we will not intrude into their grief over their sad loss, we will stand with them through this,â€ she said.
She noted that Kogi State government was saddened in no small measure by the alleged suicide of Soje, a level 16 officer and director in the state civil service.