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Nasarawa Assembly suspends Deputy minority leader over employment scam

By News Desk

The Nasarawa State House of Assembly has suspended its Deputy Minority Leader, Luka Zhekaba, for his alleged involvement in the fake employment of 38 teachers into Public schools across the state.

Zhekaba’s suspension was recommended by the House Committee on Education which investigated the recruitment of about 400 teachers including 38 fake teachers that were discovered on the payroll of the state civil service.

The Speaker of the House, Ibrahim Abdullahi, who announced the suspension in Lafia, the state capital, on Monday after the parliament deliberated on the report of the Committee submitted, inaugurated a three-man ad-hoc committee to embark on further investigations.

Abdullahi said: “The committee recommended that Hon Luka Iliya Zhekaba, Deputy Minority Leader of the House should be suspended and an ad-hoc committee should be set up to investigate his alleged involvement in the fake employment of the teachers.

“I hereby set up a three-man ad-hoc committee to investigate his alleged involvement and report back to the House within two weeks. Suleiman Azara, a member representing Awe South constituency is the Chairman of the committee; Hon Usman Labaran Shafa, member representing Toto/ Gadabuke constituency and Hon Samuel Tsebe, member representing Akwanga South as members of the committee.

“Ibrahim Musa, the Deputy Clerk of the House is the Secretary of the committee. I can’t question his activities or involvement for now until the committee concludes its findings, as you commence your investigation, I wish you success.”

According to the Speaker, the House is not against the employment of the teachers but due process must be followed for equity and fairness, and recruitment of teachers should be a periodic exercise.

He added, “Anthony Ladan, a Senior Accountant, Bureau for Salaries who admitted to including the names of 38 teachers into the payroll of the state government without a directive from the Commissioner of Finance”.

The Speaker also directed that a staff of the Ministry of Education, Michael Adonye, who was a syndicate, were to proceed on compulsory retirements.

“John Nuhu, a former staff of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Ministry of Information, and a syndicate of fake employments are to be handed over to the appropriate authority for prosecution.”

The lawmakers also agreed that the Director of the Bureau for Salaries, Sulley Daheer, and other staff of the bureau be redeployed to other departments of the state Ministry of Finance, asking the management of the state Teachers Service Commission ( TSC) to sit up to its statutory responsibilities in the interest of the education sector.

This is even as the House urged the state government to conduct an independent investigation into the activities of Ministries, Department, and Agencies (MDAs) to sanitize the system.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Daniel Ogazi, while presenting the report of the committee before the House, said that the committee found out that the syndicates collected between N50,000 and N100,000 to issue fake appointment letters to the applicants.

He told the House that the committee had invited the management of the Ministry of Education, Finance, Accountant General, the syndicate, one of the victims, Caroline Barde, among others to appear before the committee.

During the plenary, the Majority Leader, Tanko Tunga, moved a motion for the adoption of the report which was seconded by the Deputy Minority Leader, Luka Zhekaba; and the House unanimously adopted the report.

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