At least 500 academic and non-academic members of staff of the Abia State Polytechnic, Aba have been temporally disengaged by the institution’s management.

This followed a report by a committee set up by the Abia State Government to investigate their certificates, ages and the authenticity of their employment, which found them wanting.

Southern City News learnt that the names of the affected workers were on Monday removed from the payroll of the school on the orders of the management.

A source close to the institution’s management said some of the workers allegedly falsified their ages, while the others did not follow due process in their employment process.

The source, who craved anonymity, said there was no publication in any national daily that called for application into vacant positions for teaching and non-teaching positions in the institution as at the time they were employed.

The source said, “Some of the affected staff were employed in what we call ‘backyard’ recruitment process of staff by a former rector of the institution and the powers that be in the state before the Governor Okezie Ikpeazu’s administration.

“It was such employment of staff without following due process that is responsible for the ghost workers and over-bloated workforce in the institution now.

“If the incumbent government in the state and management of the institution fail to address the situation, the situation would degenerate further.”

In a telephone interview, the state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Ikechi Mgbeoji, said that the workers whose names were removed from the school’s payroll were those found culpable by the committee of inquiry earlier instituted by the state government.

He said that the affected workers were employed without proper due process, while there were others with cases of falsification of ages, forged First School Leaving Certificates and other related offences.

He, however, said that a committee had been setup to look into the cases of people with genuine complaints.

Mgbeoji blamed the crisis on the past leadership of the institution and expressed hope that the government would restore sanity in the polytechnic.

Meanwhile, some of the affected workers denied forging their certificates and age.

They vowed to pursue their case legally to its logical conclusion.

Copyright PUNCH.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.

Contact: theeditor@punchng.com