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President Buhari Suspends Oyo-Ita Indefinitely, Appoints Yemi-Esan As New Head Of Service

Valentine Chinyem

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President Muhammadu Buhari has sent Winifred Oyo-Ita, the head of service of the federation, on an indefinite suspension.

Folashade Yemi-Esan was also appointed to take charge as the acting head of service “with immediate effect”, a statement by Mr. Willie Bassey, director of information at the office of the secretary to the government of the federation said.

Recall that Oyo-Ita had requested to proceed on retirement, following probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over an alleged N3 billion contract scam. A request which the President turned down.

While investigating Kabiru Taminu Turaki, former minster of special duties, who stood as surety to Abdullahi Babalele, son-in-law of Atiku Abubakar, in a case of alleged money laundering, the antigraft agency stumbled on an petition against Oyo-Ita, citing that she used front companies to get contracts, when she was a permanent secretary under Turaki and also prior to her appointment as head of service by Buhari in 2015.

However, until her appointment, Yemi-Esan was the permanent secretary, ministry of petroleum resources.

Aside the appointment of the new head of service, the president approved the extension of the tenure of seven retiring permanent secretaries by a year, with effect from October 1, 2019.

They are: Georgina Ehuriah (interior), Ifeoma Anagbogu (women affairs), Grace Gekpe (information), Umar Bello (agriculture and rural development), Suleiman Lawal (foreign affairs), Comfort Ekaro (water resources) and Olusegun Adekunle), – general services office (Office of the secretary to the government of the federation).