By Steve Oko
Senior Special Assistant to Governor Alex Otti on Due Process, Dr Oluebube Chukwu, has explained that the recently- inaugurated Abia State Civil Service Reform Committee, was not to “witch-hunt anybody” but to ensure due process in the promotion and retirement of civil servants.
The nine-member committee chaired by Dr Chibueze Ukaegbu has the State Attorney General , Ikechukwu Uwanna; the State Accountant General, Njum Onyemanam; Commissioner for Science and Technology, Emmanuel Oriaku; Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, Chinedu Ekeke; Rev. Father Christian Anokwuru; among others as members.
Speaking with newsmen in Umuahia, Dr Chukwu said that the establishment of the committee was necessitated by the avalanche of complaints of fragrant abuse of due process and established civil service rules in the promotion of civil servants in the state since 2007.
He said that Gov. Otti recognised the crucial role “that a well-functioning civil service plays in translating government policies into actionable outcomes”, hence his decision to sanitize the system.
“The committee’s establishment is not aimed at targeting individuals, but rather at creating a better civil service for the benefit of all. This stance reflects a commitment to Due Process principles by ensuring that the review is not biased or discriminatory.”
On the role of the committee, he said: “The committee has been assigned the responsibility to scrutinize the current appointment, promotion, and dismissal processes, with the objective of refining and optimizing these procedures.”
He also said that it was tasked with the responsibility of examining and addressing concerns related to pensioners, attendance, and overall discipline within the civil service.
“The committee is tasked with reviewing appointments, promotions, dismissals, and other relevant processes. This transparency helps ensure that decisions are made in an open and accountable manner.
“The committee’s mandate to review appointments, promotions, and dismissals from 2007 to the present day reflects a commitment to fair and equitable review. This process aims to ensure that decisions made in the past were in accordance with established procedures and that any inconsistencies or biases are identified and rectified.
Dr Chukwu expressed strong support for the initiative which according to him, will restore the dignity of civil service in the state.
“I strongly support this initiative as this step aligns closely with Due Process procedures in Government”, he said.
Continuing he said: “Due Process is a fundamental principle that ensures fair, transparent, and accountable decision-making within Government activities and the Governor’s action demonstrates a commitment to following Due Process by taking deliberate steps to review and enhance the efficiency of the civil service in the following aspects: Transparency and Accountability; Fair and Equitable Review; Inclusivity and Participation”.
He also commended the Governor on the composition of the committee from different backgrounds for equity and fairness.
“The committee is composed of a diverse group of professionals, including legal experts, government officials, and other relevant stakeholders. This composition ensures the inclusion of different perspectives and expertise in the review process. Involving various stakeholders is an essential element of Due Process, as it prevents decisions from being influenced by a single viewpoint.”
Dr Chukwu argued that the outcome of the review would contribute to the promotion of good governance, accountability, and effective decision-making within the Government’s efforts to reform the states civil service.