Peter Dada, Akure

A yet-to-be identified member of staff of the Ondo State Universal Basic Education Board has been arrested for allegedly stealing the sum of N104m from the coffer of the board.

Twenty-four other civil servants in the state were also apprehended for alleged involvement in various corrupt practices.

The suspects were taken to the Wesco Police Station, Akure, on Thursday.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Undie Adie, confirmed the arrest of the suspects, saying they had been transferred to the command headquarters for thorough investigation.

The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu on Special Duties, Dr Doyin Odebowale, who also confirmed the arrest, said the suspects were caught as a result of the reform carried out by the state’s Head of Service, Mr Alex Aragbaye.

He stated that the suspects were arrested on the directives of the governor.

According to him, one of the suspects allegedly employed his wife without following the civil service procedures and placed her on grade level 14 and she had been collecting salaries.

Odebowale stated at the police station, “We are here because of certain suspects; the governor has directed that we should prosecute them. In the civil service, there has been undetected stealing. They do it in several ways, especially through the staff list.

“We have people, who imputed fictitious figures into the payroll. When the new head of service got into office, he put in place certain reforms to make us know those in actual service.

“We were able to discover that certain elements, whose names appear on the staff list, were never employed. A particular man employed his wife and placed her on grade level 14. She never attended an interview and she has been collecting salaries.

“One of them moved N104m out of the SUBEB account. We have other instances of several millions of naira moved. These are pure stealing.”

The governor’s aide stated that all the indicted civil servants had already been suspended, adding that they would face disciplinary actions.

Copyright PUNCH.