The Imo State Government has announced the sacking of 108 workers of the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission “illegally employed” by the administration of a former governor of the State, Rochas Okorocha.
A statement issued in Owerri by Damian Oparah, who is the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Managing Director of ISOPADEC, Charles Orie, stated that the oil firm took the decision in its on going staff rationalisation and restructuring programme.
The statement explained that in sacking the affected workers, the commission relied on a report submitted by Romanus Ezeogu-led Committee.
The committee, according to the statement was constituted by the administration of the immediate past governor of the State, Emeka Ihedioha, to investigate the activities of the Commission in the past.
The statement read, “The Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, ISOPADEC, has commenced the Staff Rationalization/ Restructuring of the Commission as were contained in the Dr. Romanus Ezeogu (Perm. Sec. Rtd) Committee’s reports on ISOPADEC.
“The Dr. Romanus Ezeogu committee was set up by the previous administration of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha to amongst other things, review the activities of ISOPADEC with a view to restructure it .
“The Committee after their investigations, recommended the withdrawal from services of the Commission, all the one hundred and eight workers that were illegally employed by the Okorocha administration without due processes and the approval of the existing Board at that period.
“The employments were not done in consonance with Laws that established the Commission.
“The Dr. Romanus Ezeogu committee which was set up by former administration of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha , was mandated to do a painstaking and holistic investigations on the activities of ISOPADEC with a view to making the Commission more effective.
“The Committee discovered the the effected Workers were employed illegally, without due processes.
“Based on the findings and recommendations of the Dr. Ezeogu’s committee, the Board of ISOPADEC has therefore approved the disengagements of all the One Hundred and Eight (108) Workers of the Commission whose appointments did not follow due processes and were illegally done as contained in the Dr. Ezeogu’s committee report , as they were employed without the approval of the then ISOPADEC Board Members .
“The Commission wishes to inform the affected workers whose appointment have been terminated to vacate their offices, and handover all Government and ISOPADEC property in their possessions to their Head of departments or the most senior staff in the various departments.”
The Imo government has also before now threatened to take ownership of Eastern Palm University, partly owned by Okorocha and other properties belonging to the ex-governor.