Nasarawa assembly suspends deputy minority leader over ‘role’ in job scam

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The Nasarawa house of assembly has suspended Luka Zhekaba, its deputy minority leader, over his alleged involvement in the fake employment of 38 secondary school teachers in the state.

Ibrahim Abdullahi, speaker of the assembly, announced the suspension during the house’s proceedings on Monday.Zhekaba’s suspension came after the house deliberated on a report on the recruitment of 366 teachers and 38 fake teachers found on the payroll of the state’s civil service.“The committee recommended that Hon Luka Iliya Zhekaba, deputy minority leader of the house should be suspended and an ad-hoc committee be set up to investigate his alleged involvement in the fake employment of the teachers,” the speaker said.

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“I hereby set up a three men ad-hoc committee to investigate his alleged involvement and report back to the house within two weeks.“Hon. Suleiman Yakubu Azara, member representing Awe south constituency is to serve as the committee’s Chairman; Hon. Usman Shafa, member representing Toto/ Gadabuke constituency, and Hon. Samuel Tsebe, member representing Akwanga south are to serve as members of the ad-hoc committee.“While Mr Ibrahim Musa, the deputy clerk of the house, is the secretary of the committee.

“I can’t question his activities or involvement for now until the committee concludes its findings.”Abdullahi said the house was not against the employment of the teachers but that due process must be followed for equity and fairness, adding that recruitment of teachers should be a periodic exercise.The speaker urged the management of the state Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to sit up to its statutory responsibilities in the interest of the education sector.He also called on the state government to conduct an independent investigation into the activities of MDAs so as to sanitise the system.

Daniel Ogazi, the house committee chairman, said the committee found that the syndicates collected between N50,000 and N100,000 to issue fake appointment letters to the applicants.Ogazi told the assembly that the committee had invited the management of the ministry of education, the ministry of finance, accountant general, the syndicates, one of the victims — Caroline Barde.

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