Buhari Suspends Dokubo as Amnesty Boss, Approves Oyo-Ita’s Retirement

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Muhammadu Buhari

•Technical committee to oversee Amnesty programme, Yemi-Esan is substantive HoS

By Omololu Ogunmade and Olawale Ajimotokan

President Muhammadu Buhari last night approved the suspension of the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Professor Charles Dokubo, following a series of petitions over alleged corrupt practices.

On the same day, the President approved the retirement of former Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winnifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita from the Federal Civil Service.

Dokubo’s suspension, according to the president’s media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, was the fallout of the report of a caretaker committee which recommended his suspension.

The suspension was said to have been orchestrated by numerous allegations and petitions against his handling of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

According to a statement by Adesina, such petitions and allegations prompted the president to direct the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, to set up a caretaker committee to investigate the activities of the programme.

He said: “Part of the Committee’s task is to ensure that allocated resources are properly utilized in consonance with government’s objective of alleviating problems in the Niger Delta region, and stamping out corruption in the Amnesty Programme.

“Consequently, the NSA recommended to Mr. President that the Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Professor Charles Quaker Dokubo be suspended, a recommendation that has been approved and which takes immediate effect.”

The statement added that the president also instructed the caretaker committee to review and oversee the activities of the programme henceforth.

The review and oversight of the programme by the Monguno committee, the statement added, are aimed at achieving government objectives for the programme.

Meanwhile, a statement confirming the latest development regarding Oyo-Ita was released yesterday 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, according to the statement, is with effect from Thursday, 27th February, 2020.

The statement also announced the 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. She has been operating in acting capacity since Oyo- Ita went on indefinite leave.

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 following 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 to 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.