The Federal Secretariat was today thrown into pandemonium as the staff of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) staged a protest against the plan to reinstate a former and retired Acting Secretary, Folashade Kolawole, as the substantive secretary of the CCB.
The protesters, carrying placards, vowed to resist any attempt by the embattled former acting secretary to stage a comeback, adding that she connived with some people at the office of the Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF) with a letter asking the CCB to reinstate her.
It was gathered that the Permanent Secretary General Service in the Office of Secretary to the Government of Federation, R.P Ugo, signed a letter directing the CCB to reinstate her as secretary of the CCB.
The board had suspended her in April 2017 over a misdemeanor and non-implementation of the Standard Operation Procedure (SOP).
Sources within the CCB revealed that Mrs. Kolawole refused to implement the SOP, which was sent from the Presidency, because she sensed that the guideline would not benefit her and there would be no space for the position of the secretary in the new guidelines.
The situation forced her to tender her voluntary retirement letter from the service, which was dated 12th April 2017. The letter was said to have been handed over to the Chairman of the Board, Sam Saba, who acknowledged receipt of the letter.
Quoting from her letter of voluntary retirement: “This is to most graciously notify you of my voluntary retirement from the services of Code of Conduct Bureau with effect from 12th July 2017, having served the Bureau for thirty-two years and four months at various levels up to my current position of Acting Secretary, CCB.”
Mr. Saba, having completed his tenure, handed the position over to Agom-Tor Ngusha, who is also in acting capacity.
It was gathered that Mrs. Kolawole stormed the office on Wednesday with a squad of gun totting policemen, asking the acting secretary to hand over to her a letter she purportedly secured from the office of the SGF directing the CCB to reinstate her.
The visibly angry workers who refused to report to their various offices are prepared to confront Mrs. Kolawole, who they have accused of high handedness and corruption while she was in office.
Addressing journalists, the Chairman of the Association of Senior Staff of Nigeria, Onoja Isaac, said that the union embarked on the protest to reject the directive asking the CCB to reinstate the former and retired secretary. He noted that Mrs. Folashade lacks the competence to lead the CCB as secretary, noting that her tenure as acting secretary was characterized with turmoil and insubordination to the constituted authority.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Mrs. Kolawole refused to serve her suspension and instead voluntarily retired from the service, a decision the board accepted, and she has been paid all entitlements from the Bureau,” he stated.
SaharaReporters obtained a letter of voluntary retirement from the service written on her personal letterhead paper, a payment voucher detailing the payment of her severance allowances, retirement benefits, and an internal memo from the chairman of the board approving her voluntary retirement.
When SaharaReporters called Mrs. Kolawole for comment on the matter, she said that she is a civil servant and the rules did not allow her to speak to the press.
A source who pleaded anonymity at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of Federation confirmed that the letter emanated from the SGF office and was signed by the permanent secretary of General Service. He declined to comment further on the matter.
The new board members are awaiting the screening and confirmation by the Senate.
The CCB is a parastatal under the SGF office and has been enmeshed in a leadership crisis.