A grand conspiracy to forcefully retire a senior federal Permanent Secretary in the Federal Civil Service is in the works and about to be implemented, PRNigeria learnt on good authority.
The Permanent Secretary, Mrs Nkechi Ejele was the immediate past Permanent Secretary in the Special Duties Office (SDO) with the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
The embattled officer who is from Enugu State alongside two other female Permanent Secretaries Mrs Fatima Binta Bamidele from Oyo State and Mrs Ibukun Abimbola Odusote from Ogun State were wrongly accused of abuse of office which were unproven.
Based on a recommendation of special panel exonerating the Perm Secs from many wrongdoing, President Muhammadu Buhari directed that they should not be retired prematurely.
The panel, known as Federal Service Management Committee, was chaired by the immediate Head of Civil Service of the Federation Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita with the current HOS, Folashade Yemi-Esan as a member among others.
In a handwritten memo to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha dated June 20, 2018, President Buhari directed that “ Their careers should not be terminated as allegations against them could not be proved, They are to be retained until they reach retirement age or they voluntarily retire.”
On the strength of the presidential directive, the SGF wrote to the Head of Service vide letter ref. no. 59814/s/t/144 dated June 22, 2018 conveying Mr. President’s action on the matter. In his letter sighted by PRNigeria stated that” Mr President has carefully considered all the issues outlined in the memo, and in particular the recommendations made on the following three Permanent Secretaries: Mrs Ibukun Abimbola Odusote, Mrs Fatima Binta Bamidele and Mrs Nkechi Ejele”.
“The President noted that Mrs Fatima Bamidele recently retired from the civil service on account of the attainment of the mandatory age of 60 years. He has therefore directed as follows: “ the careers of the remaining two permanent secretaries should not be terminated as allegations against them could not be proved and that they are to be retained until they reach retirement age or they voluntarily retire.”
The SGF in the letter further stated Mr President’s directive that “in view of the above, you are to take further action to deploy the permanent secretaries as appropriate.”
While the other two permanent secretaries Fatima and Ibukun retired peacefully after reaching their retirement ages on April 18, 2018, and February 19, 2020 respectively, Mrs Nkechi who would officially retire on September 22, 2022, is being harassed to retire immediately.
Mrs Nkechi Ejele, the erstwhile Permanent Secretary with Special Duties Office (SDO) of the Head of Civil Service handed over to her successor following a circular no. HCSF/095/11/368 dated December 18, 2019 on the posting of Permanent Secretaries, but she was not posted and currently has no portfolio. An investigation reveals that in what looked like a direct affront on President Muhammadu Buhari’s instructions, Mrs Nkechi Ejele was refused posting for more than six (6) months now when the conspiracy to retire her began.
She is currently being cajoled to voluntarily retire from the service against her wish and efforts are in top gear to stop her salary and allowances in order to seal their planned conspiracy.
Meanwhile, Concerned Igbo Citizens in Abuja have petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari on the planned forceful retirement of their own, Mrs Nkechi Ejele.
The Igbo group under the aegis of Abuja Igbo Elites in a letter dated June 25, 2020 and sighted by PRNigeria noted that there was a grand plan to retire the Permanent Secretary in contravention of President’s directive.
“We the above-named Socio-Cultural Organization based in Abuja respectively write to express our concerns over an advanced plan to forcefully retire the above underlined subject matter, Mrs Nkechi Ejele from the Federal Civil Service when she is not due. The Subject matter is the most senior Permanent Secretary in the Federal Civil Service.
“Since her exoneration alongside two other Permanent Secretaries two years ago by President Muhammadu Buhari and subsequent letter to that effect by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation dated June 22, 2018, the Permanent Secretary has not known peace..
“As a champion of due process and accountability and whose anti-corruption drives have made marks in the public service, we shall remain grateful if you quickly intervene to stop this widow from early retirement where she has not committed any wrong, as this will no doubt send signals to those in authority who have not imbibed the anti-corruption crusade of the present administration”.