Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Anambra State House of Assembly Committee on Public Petitions is currently investigating allegations of certificate forgery from higher institutions among vehicle inspection officers of the state ministry of transport.
The investigation was as a result of the petition brought before it against an officer of the vehicle inspection unit who was wrongly placed by the past administration in the ministry.
The officer who was wrongly placed said he was a graduate of Federal University of Technology Owerri Imo state but discovered that his placement as a higher works superintendent in the ministry was for those who were graduates of polytechnics and, as such, the said rank was a demotion of his qualifications.
The victim of the wrong placement said upon discovery of the anomaly, he wrote to the civil service commission through the ministry of transport notifying them of the development.
The civil service commission according to him directed the ministry to re-designate him but pointed out that some dramatis personae in the ministry of transport were not satisfied with the directives of the state civil service commission and began to play internal politics with his request to be placed in the right cadre as a university graduate.
Speaking on the subject matter, Mr. Raph Okoye, the General Supervisor for Vehicle Inspection Officers and Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on Public Transport, said from the evidence tendered before the public petitions committee, there was no indication of certificate forgery amongst vehicle inspection officers.
Okoye said that the civil service commission had done due diligence by confirming the appointment of the petitioner even though he was cognisant of the fact that the state assembly has waded into the matter to dig deep to ascertain infractions associated with fake certificates amongst any of the VIOs in the ministry.
The governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Public Transport further disclosed that there were no impostors amongst the vehicle inspection officers, stressing that no person who was not employed as a VIO that claimed to be a VIO and that all the officers have their appointment letters.
Hon. Afam Mbanefo, the commissioner for road and rail transport, said the ministry was invited by the state assembly to clear issues involving wrong certification of some vehicle inspection officers.
Mbanefo said one of the officers, who was mentioned and whose name was Engr. Chris Okeke, brought his credentials and proved to the public petitions committee that he was a certified engineer and that his promotion was done properly through the civil service commission.
The commissioner also opined that the ministry has written to the civil service commission and the head of service to provide employment details of other vehicle inspection officers to enable the ministry to cross-match its records with what the state assembly has in custody.
The chairman of the public petitions committee Hon. Emeka Aforka however remarked that another letter of invitation would be extended to the honourable commissioner to appear before the committee with all the relevant documents that the committee may deem necessary to help it reach a logical conclusion of the investigations.
Aforka said the commissioner should look into issues of requisite qualifications amongst VIOs in relation to placements. He also directed that the commissioner should liaise with the office of the head of service and furnish the committee with all the relevant documents and files of vehicle inspection officers in the ministry to enable the committee to determine those who forged certificates from higher institutions.