Abia Commissioner Suspended Over Misconduct

The Abia State Government has suspended Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo, the Commissioner for Health, citing allegations of gross misconduct.

The confirmation of her suspension was made by Prince Okey Kanu, the Commissioner for Information, in a statement released on Tuesday.

The statement reads in part: “The Governor of Abia State, His Excellency, Dr Alex Otti, has approved the suspension from office of the Commissioner for Health, Abia State, Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo.

“The suspension is to allow for the thorough investigation of allegations of gross misconduct levelled against the commissioner.

“Governor Otti’s action is in line with his zero-tolerance policy for misconduct of any kind and his firm commitment to the principles of transparency and accountability in governance. The government aims to ensure that the actions of its appointees consistently serve the welfare of Abians.”

Following the suspension, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr Ifeyinwa Kalu, will collaborate with the Special Adviser (SA) to the Governor on Health, Dr Mrs Ngozi Azodo, to oversee the affairs of the ministry on an interim basis pending the outcome of further investigations into the allegations against Dr Ngozi.

In a related development, the Principal of Okezie School of Midwifery, Abiriba, Mrs Ogbonna Chituru Adiele, has been sacked following a protest by students against her, over alleged mismanagement of funds.

Daily Trust learnt that the students’ protest centered on financial mismanagement, but that there were also several allegations, including misappropriation of equipment and employment of ghost workers.

The Students’ Union Government (SUG) submitted a petition to the Abia State Commissioner for Health, urging an investigation into the allegations and a swift action to ensure fairness and transparency in the educational environment.

Among the grievances outlined in the petition were Mrs Adiele’s prolonged absence from duty, neglect of responsibilities, poor academic management detrimental to students’ education and interference in duties delegated to other school officials.

The decision to remove Mrs Adiele was announced by the state government shortly after the students’ protest and Mrs Okorie Comfort James was appointed as her replacement.

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