Buhari Sacks NECO Registrar, 4 Other Officials

The federal government of Nigeria has approved the termination of the appointment of Charles Uwakwe as the Registrar and Chief Executive of the National Examinations Council (NECO).

The federal government also dismissed four members of the NECO management for various offences bordering on financial impropriety. The affected officers include the Acting Director (Finance and Accounts), Bamidele Olure; Head of Procurement Division, Shina Adetona; Deputy Director Tayo Odukoya, and Head of Legal/Board matters, Babatunde Aina.

Their dismissal comes after a panel that investigated allegations of misconduct against them, while they were on suspension, recommended their removal.

Mr Uwakwe had been suspended since May 2018 by the federal government over alleged financial mismanagement and abuse of office.

Since Mr Uwakwe’s suspension, Abubakar Gana has acted as Acting Registrar.

The dismissal of the officials was announced by the NECO spokesperson, Azeez Sani.

According to Mr Sani, President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive was conveyed in a letter dated May 11 and signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, on behalf of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu.

He said Mr Uwakwe was accused of violating the Public Procurement Act (2007) while in office.

“After due consideration of the investigative panel on the allegation of unsatisfactory conduct leveled against you and some management staff of the council, Mr President in the exercise of his powers has approved your removal as the Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of National Examinations Council with effect from the date of your suspension from duty,” Mr Sani quoted the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Education, Sunny Echono as saying.

He said the former registrar was also directed to hand over all the government property in his custody to the acting Registrar.

“In another letter, FME/S/1419/C.3/T/98, on May 11, by the Permanent Secretary, the President approved the dismissal from service of four Management workers,” Mr Sani said.

The Acting Director (Finance and Accounts), Mr Olure, was dismissed for alleged financial impropriety and for not being qualified to head the Finance and Accounts Department.

Mr Adetona was dismissed for acts tantamount to fraudulent practices, sabotage and suppression of official records while Odukoya was dismissed for acts of serious misconduct, the spokesperson said.

The letter directed the management of NECO to commence the process of recovering ill-gotten benefits/gains from Mr Odukoya who allegedly acted as the director of a private company (M/S I-web Solutions) while in office.

Mr Aina was dismissed from service for falsification of records and dishonesty in the sale of NECO Guest House, which is being investigated by the anti-graft agency, EFCC.

NECO is an examination body in Nigeria that conducts the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination and the General Certificate in Education examination.

The council is also in charge of the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (internal and external), Junior Secondary Certificate Examination (JSCE) and National Common Entrance Examination into federal unity schools.