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Published On: Sun, Oct 6th, 2013

Delta Govt. Clears Uduaghan’s Aide over Billion Naira Salary Scam, Refutes Media Report

Harold Monu

LAGOS OCTOBER 6TH (URHOBOTODAY) – The Delta State Government on Thursday refuted a media report linking the Senior Special Assistant to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan on ICT, Mr. Harold Monu, to a multi-billion naira salary scam, saying the governor’s aide was not involved in any fraudulent activity.
Explaining the circumstances behind Monu’s recent invitation by the police, which was misconstrued in the said report, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Chike Ogeah, in a statement, said Monu had been instrumental to the busting of many salary scams thus preventing millions of naira in financial loss to the state.
“The attention of Government of Delta State has been drawn to a news story posted on premiumtimesng.com and other online journals on the above subject. The story is a complete distortion of the facts and it is imperative to state the facts here.
“His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Governor of Delta State, had identified the burgeoning state wage bill as a source of concern and constituted a committee to address it. The committee which had Dr.(Mrs.) Beatrice Omeni, a former Secretary to the (Delta) State Government (SSG), swung into action on February 12, 2012 by designing a three-pronged model to verify the wage bill and qualify only bona fide members of staff for the state’s payroll.
“The first part of the exercise was for all staff to physically present themselves for capture of their fingerprints and photographs which are stored in a biometric database. The second stage is for staff to present their original letters of employment, birth certificates/age declaration, letter of promotion and academic credentials which are scanned into a document management system database.
“The third step is to implement a biometric time and attendance system to compliment the other two parts. Right now, the biometrics and documents phases have been successfully completed with documented savings of over N362 million to date and over 400 “ghost workers” have been removed from the state’s payroll.
“The final phase which is the biometric time and attendance system will deliver even greater savings to the state. Contract for its execution has been awarded to a competent vendor who has a track record of success in a sister state.
” This phase involves a lot of funds as biometric time and attendance devices will be deployed in all government offices and schools across the state, hence the involvement of the private sector and at no cost to the government.
“The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on ICT, Mr. Harold Monu, has been the (arrowhead) of this campaign to stamp out fraud in the state payroll and has been documented to have prevented fraud right from the first month of his appointment in July 2011.
“He ensured a bank employee was arrested while trying to inject names into the payroll. More recently in June 2013, he discovered a fraud and alerted the banks thereby facilitating the arrest of two suspects trying to cash state fund illegally transferred to their accounts. They have been in the custody of the Delta State Police Command since July 2013.
“Even while Mr. Monu was on vacation, he was able to thwart another fraud attempt in the September 2013 payroll when upon being alerted via email by a bank employee to verify some unusual transactions, he instructed the banks to keep the suspects’ accounts frozen. Another suspect was also arrested and detained in the process.
“Mr. Monu was invited by the police on resumption of duty to give account of his knowledge of events as the head of the biometric unit and was subsequently released after making his statement. There was no financial loss to the state as this attempt was nipped in the bud through the efforts of Mr. Monu.
“The office of the Account General of the State which is in-charge of payments of salaries is heading its own investigations,” Ogeah said in the statement.
It would be recalled that there were media report mostly in social media network where it was alleged that Harold Monu embezzled the state government fund running into billion of Naira through the manipulation of ghost workers salary in the state computer biometric salary voucher.
He was reported to have been arrested by the police on his arrival from London and was eventually bailed by the Mr Ovuozerie Macauly after answering some salient question with respect to the alleged fraudulent activity

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