Abia governor suspends commissioner over alleged ‘gross misconduct’

Governor Alex Otti of Abia State has suspended the Commissioner for Health in the state, Ngozi Okoronkwo, for “gross misconduct”.

The Commissioner for Information in the state, Okey Kanu, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

Mr Kanu said the suspension of Mrs Okoronkwo, a medical doctor, was to pave the way for an investigation into the allegations of gross misconduct levelled against her.

He did not give details of the allegations raised against the suspended health commissioner.

However, he said Governor Otti’s decision to suspend Mrs Okoronkwo was in line with his administration’s zero tolerance policy for misconduct.

He said the suspension of the commissioner was also in line with the governor’s “strong adherence to the twin principles of transparency and accountability in governance.”

Mr Kanu said the governor’s stance on misconduct ensures that actions of “appointees must at all times advance the good and well-being” of residents of Abia State.

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“The Abia 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.

“In the light of these developments, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr. Ifeyinwa Kalu will collaborate with the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health, Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Azodo to run the affairs of the ministry in the interim pending the outcome of further investigations into the allegations against Dr. Ngozi Okoronkwo.”

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This is the first time a commissioner is publicly known to have been suspended or removed from office outright in the last one year of the administration.

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