Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki on Friday wielded his big stick with the suspension of the embattled Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Chief Steve Alao from office with immediate effect.
In his replacement, Governor Obaseki has approved without delay the appointment of Mallam Ali Sulayman as the interim Board Chairman of the board and the appointment takes immediate effect.
The suspension order and appointment of new board chairman was contained in a statement issued yesterday by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Osarodion Ogie Esq and made available to newsmen in Benin the state capital.
With the slammed suspension order on the SUBEB chairman, it has further opened an avenue for the anti-corruption agency, the EFCC to prosecute without further delay the two officials of the Edo State Universal Basic Education Board, Mr. Stephen Alao and the Director of Finance, Mr. Adams Osabuohien respectively.
Both officials are presently in deep soup with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over questionable financial operations at the education agency.
Both men were arrested on Thursday and have been moved to the Ibadan Zonal Office of the EFCC to be thoroughly interrogation over allegations over misappropriation of about N1.5 billion being public funds at their disposal.
The officials may be charged to court soon for prosecution over the huge sum if found with enough evidence of their involvement in the alleged offence.
According to a petition before the EFCC, both men and others undergoing investigation were involved in “corruption, fraud, criminal breach of trust, unlawful enrichment and conversion of billions of Naira of the board”.
It was learnt that the Executive Chairman allegedly inflated contracts, approved bogus weekly Duty Tour Allowances (DTA) for non-existence conferences, used fictitious companies to defraud the board and sold Government properties without remitting same to Government account.
A top EFCC official confirmed that some other officials of the board who were fingered in the alleged fraud are still being investigated to ascertain their levels of culpability to the alleged criminal breaches.