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Delta Gov. Okowa’s commissioner sacks aide for refusing to part with salary

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Delta Gov. Okowa’s commissioner sacks aide for refusing to part with salary
By Iteveh Ekpokpobe, Asaba

Delta State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa’s commissioner for Science and Technology, Hon. Matthew Tsekiri, has sacked one of his special assistants, Comrade Karure Tene-Omadide, for not allegedly remitting to his coffers, part of his monthly salary, THE WITNESS reports.

In the same vein, the commissioner is said to have appointed his alleged girlfriend’s brother, Mr. Progress Akpofure Okotete, as a replacement for Tene-Omadide.

Investigation reveals that the sacked special assistant allegedly remitted N100, 000 representing 40 per cent of his monthly salary of N250,000 to the commissioner, Hon. Tsekiri.

The commissioner’s displeasure was allegedly informed by his demand for a raise of remittance from N100,000 to N150,000, a 20 per cent increase, which met vehement refusal of his special assistant, leading to his sack.

Documents available reveal that the sacked SA, who was appointed on 16th September 2019, had allegedly kept faith with the remittance up till the date of the disagreement.

On 29th November 2019, the sacked special assistant was said to have transferred N400,000 out of the N819, 202 received as accumulated salary from the Delta State government, into the account of one Miss Kesiena O. The payment was done on the directive of the commissioner to the lady alleged to be his girlfriend.

Also, on January 30th, 2020, Karure made a cash payment of N150,000 to the Commissioner Tsekiri. While N100,000 was for the remittance, N50,000 was a soft loan to the commissioner.

In the same vein, on 28th February 2020, the sacked special assistant, made a transfer of N100,000 out of his salary to the commissioner’s account.

We gathered that it was the demand by sacked special assistant for the commissioner to refund his N50,000 loan that resulted in his sack.

According to sources, the commissioner felt a 20 per cent upward review of remittance to N150,000 was necessary. The special assistant disagreed, and was fired.

In all, the special assistant allegedly paid to the commissioner a total of N650,000 or 50 per cent of an excess of N1,319, 000 received during the months of engagement.

At the time of going to press, the sacked special assistant had yet to receive his termination letter. However, an appointment letter signed by the secretary to state government, Barr. Chiedu Ebie, and dated March 1st, 2020, with reference number, SGD/399/T68A/1049 for a new special assistant, was already issued to one Mr. Progress Akpofure Okotete.

 

HON. TSEKIRI REACTS

In line with THE WITNESS investigative journalism practice, our reporter contacted Hon. Tsekiri for his own side to the allegations.

In his reaction, the commissioner denied the allegations stressing that “It’s a blackmail and attempt to bring him down.”

“Thank you for contacting me, my brother. The allegations by my former SA against me are wrong, not true. You can ask him, I did not instigate his sack. In the first place, he was attached to me by a political leader and I think he fell out with the leader and the leader himself requested for him to be changed. This whole thing is political, it’s beyond me.

“Yes, as my SA, we have done so many things together but not criminal. I think he (Tene-Omadide) is frustrated and just looking for every means to tarnish my image but thank God, my hands are clean,” he said.

Meanwhile, a group, Core Delta Youth, Uvwie Chapter, has condemned the act, describing it as sabotage on the contribution of youths towards the re-election of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, during the 2019 election.

The group’s secretary, Comr. Felix Okeghene, urged the commissioner to revisit the matter and reappoint his sacked special assistant, Karure, who doubles as chairman of Core Delta Youths, Uvwie chapter.

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