Lame Excuse: 'Director did not commit suicide over salaries' - Kogi Govt

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Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello

The Kogi State government has come out with a position following the suicide of a senior Director, saying his death had nothing to with his unpaid salaries.

The Kogi State government has come out with a position on the death of Mr. Edward Soje, the late Director who committed suicide after his wife gave birth to triplets, saying his death should not be tied to his backlog of salaries which was said to run into eleven months.

Though the family of the deceased tied the suicide to the salary arrears, the state government has debunked such, saying he could not have killed himself due to the salary backlog as he was paid as recently as December 2016, and was in line to be paid another six months salary soon.

In a statement absorbing the state of any wrongdoing or complicity in the suicide, the state Head of Service, Deborah Ogunmola, said there was no evidence that Soje committed suicide because he had not been paid.

ALSO READ: "In Kogi: State civil service director commits suicide"

Ogunmola who claimed to be related to Soje’s wife, said his salaries were delayed because of age falsification and wondered why anyone should tie the suicide to owed salaries.

Ogunmola said despite being indicted in an age falsification scam, the state government was merciful and benevolent enough not to dismiss him.

The HoS added that Soje could not have killed himself over unpaid salaries because he had been listed among those who would receive six months arrears.

Parts of the statement reads:

“For the records, these are the facts surrounding Mr. Soje’s employment with the Kogi State Government:

He continued to receive his salaries until December 2016, even while the Staff Screening and Verification was ongoing.

His pay was stopped after proof emerged that he falsified his age records. His confession to the offense is on video.

Following engagements with labour, the Kogi State Governor magnanimously commuted the disciplinary action due against certain categories of offenders by grant of pardon. Mr. Soje fell into one of the categories.

Pardoned workers were processed for reinstatement and payment in batches. Mr. Soje was in the September 2017 batch and he was aware of this fact.

The Kogi State Teaching Service Commission, where he worked, had forwarded a template for payment to government and Mr. Soje was aware that he was listed to receive six months back pay, leaving only two months [August and September] outstanding.

“Edward Soje was not just member of my staff; he was also married to my sister-in-law. His death is shocking, both as one related to him, and one responsible for him in an official capacity.”

ALSO READ: "Can't Take It: Civil servant hangs self over unpaid salaries in Abia"

Soje reportedly killed himself 10 days after his wife gave birth to a set of triplets and according to his family, he had been depressed in the past few months due to the backlog of salaries being owed to him by the Kogi State government.



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