The United Global Resolve for Peace (UGRFP), an NGO, has called for the immediate resignation of Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and the disengagement of the state’s Head of Service, Mrs Deborah Ogunmola.
UGRFP, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said that the duo should quit office over their complicity in the death of Mr Edward Soje, who died over abject poverty caused by unpaid eleven months salaries.
The statement was signed by Mr Olaseni Shalom, the Executive Director, UGRFP.
Soje, a Director in the Kogi State Civil Service, committed suicide by hanging himself on a tree in Lokoja, the state capital on Oct. 21.
His body was found dangling on a tree behind the mammy market at the Maigumeri barracks, the Nigeria Army Command Record.
Soje, a Grade Level 16 Officer in the Kogi State Teaching Service Commission, was allegedly being owed 11 months’ salary arrears as at the time he took his life.
The Kogi State Government, had in its reaction, said that Soje was last paid salary in December 2016.
The state government dispelled media reports that Soje took his life because he was being owed salaries.
Ogunmola, in a statement, said that there was no evidence that he committed suicide because he was being owed salaries.
She said that Soje’s salaries were delayed because of age falsification.
Ogunmola said that despite being indicted, the state government was merciful enough not to dismiss him even after he had confessed on video.
The head of service said that it was unlikely that Soje killed himself over unpaid salary because he had been listed among those who would receive six months arrears.
“His pay was stopped after proof emerged that he falsified his age records. His confession to the offence is on video to justify government stoppage of his salary,’’ Ogunmola said.
Shalom, however, said that Soje died as a result of abuse of office by the governor and the head of service’s insensitivity.
“We demand the immediate resignation of Bello of his criminal neglect, gross mismanagement and outright abuse of office that led to the death via suicide of Soje, a Director in the State Civil Service.
“The immediate disengagement of Ogunmola, the Head of Service of Kogi State for her sadistic and unsympathetic stance toward the death of Soje and other civil servants in Kogi State.’’
The executive director said that the Soje’s family needed compensation and apology of 10million naira from Kogi State Government for its negligence.
Shalom said the group was issuing a 7-day ultimatum to the Kogi State Government to explain how the alleged video where Soje confessed to age falsification went viral or face legal action.
“If Soje and other certain persons in his category confessed to the falsification of age even as a civil servant via video, under what circumstance did he carry same out?
“If voluntarily done, he deserves pardon; and if by coercion, same is null and void ab initio, and doesn’t constitute useful evident to penalise him.
“If late Soje indeed committed the “offence” as it would appear, he ought to have been referred to the Code of Conduct tribunal for proper trial as a Public Servant; the Civil Service of Kogi State has no judicial power to try anyone.
“Therefore, the justification that they have the confession on video only amounts to an extra-judicial trial and penalising, which is strange to our law and an affront to Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.’’
According to him, UGRFP promotes peaceful resolution of crisis generated as a result of human activity, civil unrest, agitations, conflict of interest among others, in line with UN charter on conflict resolution.