21st January, 2016
Nigeria’s Federal Government on Wednesday suspended the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Peter Jack, from office over alleged misconduct.
This was contained in a statement signed by Mr Victor Oluwadamilare, the Special Assistant on Media to the Minister of Communications, on Wednesday in Abuja.
“The indefinite suspension which takes immediate effect from today January 20, 2016, became imperative on the strength of deluge of petitions regarding several alleged wrongdoings in NITDA.
It said the action was also due to subsequent preliminary findings of an investigative committee set up by the ministry.
“These petitions against Mr Jack relate to illegal employments not approved by the appropriate authority and procurement carried out in direct contraventions of laid down rules and procedure unknown to civil service administration in Nigeria.”
According to the statement, the committee’s findings “as at 29th May, 2015, NITDA only had a staff complement of 74. But from May, 2015 to 31st December 2015, additional 245 staff were employed.”
It said the employment was done in spite of clear instruction from the ministry directing suspension of employment in the agency.
“These disclosures were deduced from the records provided by Mr Jack, although he was unable to provide concrete information on whose authority he embarked on the massive recruitment.
“And who granted him the authority for officials to be seconded to NITDA from other MDAs.
“On the alleged financial misdemeanor, the committee opined that the situation in the agency would require a more detailed professional auditing of NITDA’s finances to determine the true state of the financial health of the agency.”
It said the suspension would allow for further independent investigations of his stewardship in the last three years.
The statement said that Dr. Vincent Olatunji had been named as the acting Director-General of the agency with immediate effect, pending the outcome of the planned investigations.
Olatunji, until his appointment, was the Director of Corporate Strategy and Research in the agency and joined NITDA in 2002.