Ebonyi auditors accused of ‘criminal padding and doctoring,’ face Umahi’s probe
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Ebonyi auditors accused of ‘criminal padding and doctoring,’ face Umahi’s probe

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Following allegation of extortion of retirees by staff of Ebonyi State Audit Department, the state Governor Dave Umahi has ordered a thorough probe of the matter and vowed anyone found culpable must face the law.

In a statement he released through his spokesman, Emmanuel Uzor, the governor directed the state Auditor-General and the Fiscal Responsibility Commission to carefully investigate the matter.

According to Umahi, issues of non-payment of pension and gratuities in the state were as a result of “criminal padding and doctoring” of the entitlements of some retired civil servants. He claimed that the situation led the government to set up a committee to look into the matter and harmonize the payment.

The statement read, “This criminal inflation and doctoring of figures as noticed in the payroll of pensioners and retirees led to (the setting up of) a special committee in charge of harmonizing the proper entitlements accruable to each pensioner and retiree in the state and the committee chaired by the Deputy Governor has been working hard to ensure that no pensioner is left behind.

“It is therefore surprising that some retired civil servants still allege extortion from officials of the audit unit even when the payment of pension entitlements accruable to civil servants is not within the jurisdiction of the Auditor-General of Ebonyi State.

“It is also possible that those who allege extortion were part of some bad eggs who look for ways of inflating and doctoring their entitlements in connivance with some officials in the state audit by refusing to appear before the Deputy Governor-led harmonization committee to determine the proper entitlements accruable to each pensioner.

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“Consequently, the governor directs all retired civil servants who have not completed their physical capturing to do so as those who have completed their physical capturing have been duly paid their retirement entitlements.”

The governor therefore called on those involve to approach the office of the Deputy Governor, who is saddled with the responsibility of ensuring speedy payments of workers entitlements rather than “looking for shortcut to defraud the state government.”

Umahi assured that he was still going to pay all pensions and gratuities owed retired civil servants since 1999 till date as he had earlier promised.

 

 

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