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Abia Governor Suspends Health Commissioner (Full Details)

Abia State Governor, Alex Otti, has suspended the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Ngozi Okoronkwo, in a move to demonstrate his avowed zero tolerance to all forms of corrupt practices in his administration.

The Commissioner for Information and Culture, Prince Okey Kanu, made this known in a statement he issued Tuesday, saying that the big axe was wielded on the affected commissioner following allegations of “gross misconduct” levelled against her.He said that the suspension became necessary “to pave the way for the investigation” of the allegations to determine her culpability or innocence.

Governor Otti’s action is in line with his zero tolerance policy for misconduct of any kind and strong adherence to the twin principles of transparency and accountability in governance,” the government spokesman said.

He stated that the governor would not waver in his principled stance committed to ensuring that “actions of appointees must at all times advance the good and well-being of Abians”.

Nonetheless, Kanu said the state government is committed to good governance and the rule of law under which persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

“Consequently, the administration is painstaking in investigating and establishing facts of infractions or misconduct uncovered by its internal monitoring and feedback system,” he said.

Kanu announced that with the suspension of the commissioner for health, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr Ifeyinwa Kalu, would be running the ministry in collaboration with the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Azodo.

He said that the duo would “run the affairs of the ministry in the interim pending the outcome of further investigations into the allegations against Dr Ngozi Okoronkwo”.

It was gathered that Governor Otti had approved Okoronkwo’s suspension after her issue was discussed at the meeting of the State Executive Council on Monday.

Though the suspended commissioner’s offence was couched as “gross misconduct”, a source close to government said that her offence “revolves basically around financial impropriety”.

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