Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, on Tuesday rejected the resignation of the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Bernard Odoh, and announced his sack instead.
The governor, who disclosed this when he received over 20,000 Ezza indigenes at the Government House in Abakaliki, said Odoh’s resignation was rejected because it was done on a public holiday.
Umahi’s reaction followed the submission of the ex-SSG’s letter where he claimed he was not given the freedom to perform his duties effectively.
However, the state Commissioner for Information, Emmanuel Onwe, had on Monday confirmed the acceptance of Odoh’s resignation and announced the appointment of Mr. Hyginus Nwokwu as the SSG.
But Umahi said the resignation of Odoh and the appointment of Nwokpu were null and void as they were done on a public holiday.
He said the state government was investigating the former SSG for meddling in the investigation of a murder case in his area before his resignation.
“When the resignation happened, senior members of my cabinet came together and said let’s accept the resignation and wish him well. But I knelt down and said Lord, my heart is clean before this young man and if I be called of God let us leave the matter before God.
“I had called him on Saturday and said my son, murder case is very bad and we are doing investigation. I want you to come and see me so I can speak with you and advise you as a father and he agreed.
“Initially he was denying that there was no problem but towards the end of our discussion he said to me that he would like to make one or two comments. But I said when you come you can make them. So, he switched off his phone till Monday.
“On Monday, he sent me a text that his health was failing him and that he was going to resign and he will let me know. Before you know, I started hearing and seeing that he has resigned on social media. So I am nullifying the acceptance that was done by government officials including the appointment of his replacement because they were all done on public holiday.
“But by the powers conferred on me as the governor of the state, I hereby announce the sack of Prof. Odoh as SSG and the investigation for meddling in murder case must be carried out thoroughly.”
Umahi later announced the appointment of Nwokpu as SSG and ordered his swearing in later on Tuesday.