*Says approval without prejudice to ex-HoS’ corruption probe
By Olawale Ajimotokan
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the retirement of former Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Winnifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, from the Federal Civil Service.
A statement confirming the latest development was issued on Friday night by the Permanent Secretary (General Services Office) Olusegun Adekunle, on behalf of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
Oyo- Ita’s retirement from the service is with effect from Thursday, 27th February, 2020.
The statement also announced the formal appointment of Dr. (Mrs.) Folasade. O. Yemi-Esan as the substantive Head of the Civil Service of the Federation with effect from Friday, 28th February, 2020.
However, the statement stated that the decision to approve Oyo- Ita’s retirement by President Muhammadu Buhari was also without prejudice to the on-going investigations into certain allegations against the immediate past Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.
The President thanked Mrs Oyo-Ita for the invaluable services to the nation and wished her well in all future endeavors.
Mrs Oyo-Ita sensationally rocked the civil service in August last year, after she tendered her resignation as the HoS after reports of her grilling by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for alleged financial impropriety to the tune of over N3 billion emerged.
Though Oyo-Ita’s resignation letter was initially rejected by Buhari, the President eventually asked her to proceed on an indefinite leave of allow for the conclusion of investigation being carried out by the anti-corruption agency.
Her suspension on September 18, 2019 paved the way for Yemi-Esan’s appointment in acting capacity.
Adekunle further stated that the ratification of Yemi- Esan’s appointment as the substantive HoS was in exercise of the powers vested in the President by Section 171 (2) (b); and in compliance with Sub-Sections (3) and (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
Until her new appointment, Yemi- Esan, a Dental Surgeon, was the Acting Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, a position she assumed since 18th September, 2019.
She had at various times, served in the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Federal Ministries of Information, Education and Petroleum Resources.
The statement said the President charged the new HoS to bring her wealth of experience to bear in the new position so that government could deliver on the priority areas of development already outlined.
Buhari also urged her to make the stabilisation of the Federal Civil Service top most on her agenda.