The recent screening and confirmation of the immediate past Delta state Accountant General, Cyril Agbele by the state House of Assembly for appointment as Chairman, Bureau of State Pensions, without all the required academic credentials as stipulated by law has been generating controversy within and outside government circles, SaharaReporters has learnt.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa last month nominated and forwarded a letter containing his kinsman’s name, Cyril Agbele, who is the immediate past accountant general of the state, to the state House of Assembly for screening and confirmation as Chairman, Bureau of State Pensions.
The following day, Speaker, House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwore read the governor’s letter containing the name of Cyril Agbele, on the floor of the House, and directed the governor’s nominee to within one week forward 25 copies of all his academic credentials and curriculum vitae (CV), to the House.
He was also asked to appear before the House on June 15, 2021, for screening and confirmation for the said position.
But our correspondent gathered that the immediate past accountant general only forwarded pieces of papers as copies of his curriculum vitae (CV).
The papers were said to contain his academic qualifications without the attachment of all the necessary credentials as required by law to back up his claims in his CV.
Confiding in our correspondent, sources at the state House of Assembly who spoke on condition of anonymity revealed that members were disappointed and shocked to receive only pieces of papers as copies of Agbele’s curriculum vitae (CV).
“What the state House of Assembly did is tantamount to encouraging fraud and corruption. How can you screen and confirm a man with just pieces of binding papers without attachment of his academic credentials to back up your academic claims in his CV? No room was even given for members to ask Agbele some very salient questions from his CV because unfortunately, the Speaker asked Agbele to take a bow and go,” one of the sources disclosed.
Also speaking to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, members of the House of Assembly, expressed dissatisfaction over the way and manner nominees were screened and confirmed on the floor of the house without proper check and perusal of their academic credentials as claimed on their CV.
“I can confirm to you that as at the time the immediate past accountant general, Cyril Agbele of Delta state appeared on the floor of the House for screening and confirmation by the state House of the Assembly, he never brought or attached his academic credentials as claimed in his CV. He was screened and confirmed with just a few pieces of paper which he used as his CV. None of us as members of the House were given the opportunity to ask Agbele questions before he was asked by the Speaker to take a bow and go.
“Some of us lawmakers, have raised serious concern on the integrity and appointment of Cyril Agbele as Chairman, Bureau of State Pensions by Governor Okowa following the alleged corruption and financial misappropriation involving him in the course of discharging his duty as the state accountant general. Was Cyril afraid to submit to the House his academic credentials to enable us to authenticate his claims in his CV?” the lawmaker said.
Meanwhile, a cross-section of civil servants in the state has condemned in strong terms the appointment of Agbele as the Chairman, Bureau of State Pensions following allegations of corruption against him.
At the state secretariat, some civil servants who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity expressed disappointment with Agbele’s appointment into such an important office that has a lot to do with the finances of retirees.
Agbele has had a series of petitions written against him and bordering on alleged financial crimes running into several billions of naira.
The petitions were written against him and sent to the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and other anti-graft agencies.
“During the reign of Cyril as Accountant General, civil servants and contractors never had it good. Extortion and sharp practices were the order of the day. Such a person cannot head such an office because the extortion and sharp practices will continue,” one of the civil servants lamented.
In 2015, Agbele, alongside his deputy, Joy Enwa, who is now the current state Accountant General following the retirement of Agbele, Asaba branch manager, Mabel Asaije of the First City Monument Bank (FCMB), and a staff member of the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue simply identified as “Prosper” were arrested by a police team from the Delta State Command over alleged N369 million fraud.
In 2018, the Okoi Obono-Obla-led Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIPRPP) initiated the arrest of Agbele, for allegedly amassing wealth and assets corruptly, worth over N7 billion.
As at the time of this report, all efforts to reach the state former Accountant General, Agbele, proved abortive, as calls and text messages sent to his mobile telephone were neither answered nor replied to.