The last has not been heard of the probe into bribe-for-job scandal being carried out in the Senate as it came to the surface Wednesday that the employment letters of two beneficiaries of the scam – Mrs. Rose Odey and Idachaba Tijani – who allegedly paid over N250,000 to the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) to secure jobs in federal ministries, were signed by a dead man.
Chairman of FCSC, Mrs. Joan Ayo, told the Joint Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs and Employment, Labour and Productivity that the two employment letters that the duo claimed they were given were actually “photocopies.”
Ayo also told the committee that one Ahmed S. Dantanko, who had allegedly signed the employment letters issued to Odey and Tijani was dead.
She also told the committee that the late Dantanko had left the services of the commission since 2008 and was not even qualified to sign an employment letter since he never attained the rank of a director before his exit. He was described as a “pool officer” while in the service.
It was also learnt that the masterminds behind the bribe-for-job scam – Juliet Egobunor and Simon Odujebe – as alleged by Odey and Tijani, are now at large.
“There is no record of the employment of Odey and Tijani anywhere in the FCSC. This has nothing to do with us. If we had apprehended Simon and Juliet, we would have gotten to the bottom of this case.
“They are on the run. We have told their ministry that they must produce them. If they can’t, they must produce their next-of-kin because that record must be in their files,” Ayo revealed.
Ayo, who had been tasked by the committee to unravel the mystery and produce the signatory behind the employment letters brandished by Odey and Tijani, shocked the lawmakers when she said: “We wanted to bring him before the committee but, unfortunately, he died in an accident last year.
“He was a civil servant and not a director. He signed for the then chairman. He was posted out of the commission as a pool officer.
“I asked for the record and that was where we got to know that in addition to leaving the commission, he was also dead…”
When the chairman of the joint committee probing the scandal, Senator Dahiru Awaisu Kuta, asked how Tijani was absorbed into the civil service job, she replied: “A file was just opened for me at the ministry and that was it.”
She added: “If the employment was genuine, he would have gone to the Office of the Head of Service; that is where posting is issued. Nobody gets a letter and goes straight to the ministry. As a pool officer, that is not done.”
Ayo further explained that investigations at the commission had shown that the employment letters given to Tijani and Odey bore the same numbers.
“It means that somebody’s employment letter has been photocopied and is being used over and over again,” she said.