* Staff had been sick
The Kogi state Government has disclosed that the alleged staff that died during the in house screening had been sick before coming for the exercise.
The government however regretted the incident and said the screening was not intended for all the state workforce.
The state Head of Civil Service (HOS), Mrs. Hannah Odiyo, who offered the explanation in a statement issued in Lokoja on Friday, debunked reports that the exercise caused the death of a worker.
She explained that, contrary to reports, the audit which involved only staff in the Head of Service office, was purely an internal routine exercise devoid of any ill-motive, moreso it did not involve the entire state civil service.
Odiyo said: “It is therefore wrong for anyone to allege that Gov. Yahaya Bello directed staff audit of all Kogi state workers.
“To put the records straight, the ongoing exercise is purely an internal routine for biodata update by the office of the Head of Civil Service, especially after the last screening.
“But the officer, Mr Fadumila Olowo, who painfully died during the in-house exercise, was said to have been sick before the exercise..
“We understand that he had in recent time, slumped elsewhere before this fateful day. The incident happened around 11.00 a.m, shortly after he arrived the venue.
“As worried as we are, we sincerely commiserate with the family of the deceased and pray for the peaceful repose of his soul,” she said.
The HOS said that she has mandated her office to maintain adequate records of all staff of the state civil service in order to maintain proper planning cum implementation.
“It was in view of this that the office sent out circular with biodata forms on May 26, 2022, to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to fill.
“Many officers complied while some failed to adhere to the directive. A reminder was sent on July 19 for all those who failed to fill the bio data forms.
“Yet many did not comply especially officers who have their salary pay points with the Office of the Head of Civil Service, but their duty stations are elsewhere.
‘’Predicated on the above, the office decided to send invitation letters to all MDAs requesting Pool Officers under the office of the head of civil service to appear physically with a bid to make budgetary provision for their promotions and equally know their duty stations.
“This exercise commenced on 4th Dec. 4, and to end on Dec. 8, based on the timetable for MDAs to appear on their stated dates. There was adequate sitting arrangement for Officers in the Conference hall, as such, there was no queue as reported,’’ she added
The HOS said the directive for the exercise as against the caption by CAPITAL POST on Social -media was not by Gov. Yahaya Bello, adding that the effort was in a bid to identify the total number of the pool staff of the Office of the Head of Civil Service whose pay points are with the office but rendering their services elsewhere in other MDAs.
She said that for officers outside the office of the Head of Civil Service, their salaries were stepped down pending when they show up to update their data, noting that such is the only way to make defaulters comply.
Odiyo, however, said that the action was in their favour, otherwise, their names would be missing from the authentic nominal roll as bonafide staff of Kogi government