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Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has suspended the payment of pensions to pensioners in the State, citing fraud in wage bills.
Umahi disclosed this while addressing the press immediately after the executive council meeting at the New Government House, Centenary City, Abakaliki, on Thursday.
The Governor in a statement issued by Uchenna Orji, Commissioner of Information and State Orientation, expressed surprise over the sustained spike in the wage bills of the State.
Consequently, he ordered immediate re-validation and re-verification of pensioners in the State.
He said, “EXCO received a memo on the re-validation and re-verification of Pensioners in Ebonyi State due to a continuous increase in wage bills. The office of the Head of Service had made discoveries of payments made to deceased pensioners in the State and this is one of the reasons for this verification exercise.
“EXCO approved the re-validation of all pensioners in the state beginning with the retired Permanent Secretaries and Directors in the State.
“EXCO also further approved that payment of pensions to these pensioners be suspended until the end of the exercise which will not exceed twenty (20) working days after which payments to all cleared retirees will be reinstated,” he stated.
He added, “EXCO received a memo to establish a Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Law in the State from the Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice. EXCO members were directed to study the draft law and make their contributions during the next EXCO Meeting.”