By Ikenna Onuoha
The leadership of Imo State Civil Guards is in cross road following allegation of salary padding said to have been perpetuated by the Acting Commandant General of the outfit, Mr. Martin Eke.
In a petition against Mr. Eke and his cohorts which a copy was obtained by our reporter and signed by a Senior Staff of the outfit, Mr. Desmond Duru, accused the Acting Commandant General, Mr. Eke and other Senior officers of sexually harassing some female staff of the agency before they were posted to vibrant government offices in the cause of their duties.
The petition tagged, “Perpetuation of Naked Fraud in Imo State Civil Guard by the Acting Commandant General, Mr. Martin Eke and His collaborators: Request for Urgent Investigation and Intervention”,
Mr. Duru expressed annoyance over what he described as massive fraud and man’s inhumanity to man being orchestrated by Mr. Eke and Messrs Festus Ojiji, Obioma Nlem, Kenneth Uwahemo, Onyekachi Amarikwa and Raymond Adide against the state government and junior members of the Guard.
Part of the petition reads, “Imo State Civil Guard as an institution created under the law of the state which all salaries, allowances and prerequisites of office of members were enshrined in the law, any further deduction, and increment in salary as well as allowances of staff were expected to follow due process, but the Acting Commandant General in partnership with his cohorts had continued to deduct salaries of junior staff of the outfit and added to their own”
The petitioner further revealed that despite creating ghost workers within the Guard, Mr. Eke had fraudulently increased the monthly salary wage bill of the outfit from below N26, 000, 000, 00 as was applicable during the immediate past Commandant General to the tune of over N30, 000, 000, 00 without government’s approval.
“Posting of staff to Government House is considered a privilege to be enjoyed by those who can afford the price tagged to such posting by the acting Commandant General and his collaborators, but those who can’t afford the fee for such posting are posted to the villages” The petition disclosed.
Mr. Duru therefore appealed to Governor Ihedioha to investigate the salary padding since new staff were not recruited into the Guard nor any notice of salary increase to warrant the sudden rise of in the monthly wage bill, expressing regret that proceeds of the alleged frauds were shared among the accused persons.
“More worrisome is the fact that the proceeds of this fraud against the state and junior workers are shared by men who sit in the comfort of their offices while others do the job, and in most ccases are from the Police Force after 35 years, but retained as political favour rather than ability to do the job; hence they see themselves as politically untouchable. A good example is Mr. Festus Ojiji who is above 70 years” The petition revealed.
The petitioner therefore warned that if the allegations were not investigated urgently and culprits brought to book, revolt may be recorded in the Guard by the rank and file members of the outfit to press home their demand against the Acting commandant General and his cohorts.