Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi yesterday said that sacked Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Professor Benald Odo, misled him to sack Moses Ogodoali.
He stated this after Ogodoali took oath of office as Senior Special Assistant on power.
The governor noted that Ogodoali should have been suspended and not sacked outrightly over an alleged offence.
Ogodoali, who was Commissioner for Agriculture and later Commissioner for the Environment, as well as Commissioner for Empowerment and Jobs Creation, was sacked about four months ago for alleged misconduct.
Umahi noted that extreme politics, which has ravaged the nation’s political landscape, played a major role in Ogodoali’s case and commended him for his patience and faith in his administration.
“I want to commend you for your character. Actually, the government was misled by the former SSG on your case. By advice from a private discussion, it was supposed to be suspension for failure to attend the Ministry of Agriculture meeting that was convened that morning.
“And I want to clarify that there was no time anybody suspected you of attending any other political meeting. There was nothing like that. Nobody ever said anything like that,” he said.
He explained that the case was supposed to earn Ogodoali suspension but somebody was overzealous and converted it to termination and when government makes mistakes, it has to stand by it.
“And so, we have to find a way to ameliorate whatever injustice you suffered. We will do that to cushion the effects of all the salaries you didn’t collect.
“But one very significant thing is that you have demonstrated the spirit of a true child of God. In the months you were waiting, you did not castigate the government you served and fought for,” he added.
Umahi further explained that the state government has uncovered illegal taxation in the state and decided to put an end to it, noting that some persons have been arrested for the act.
“There has been very serious concern in state whereby our people are groaning under heavy taxation and unfortunately we are not seeing the money. We hardly get N25 million from such taxation.
“And so, in the coming weeks, we will convene a stakeholders meeting and invite the elders, students union leaders, labour union leaders, market women and men, landlords and all revenue contractors to sort out the issues,” he stated.