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Buhari sends HOS Oyo-Ita on indefinite leave


Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday directed the head of service Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita to proceed on an indefinite leave to allow the conclusion of the investigation being carried out by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Buhari also approved the appointment of Folashade Yemi-Esan as the acting head of the Civil Service of the Federation with immediate effect.

Yemi-Esan was the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources.


Although Oyo-Ita still has five years to her retirement but is being interrogated over her role in an alleged contract scam.

Oyo-Ita later offered to resign from office but her letter was reportedly rejected by President Buhari because of the ongoing contract scam investigation.

Asides Oyo-Ita’s indefinite leave, the Nigerian President also approved the extension of the tenure of seven retiring permanent secretaries for a period of one year.

In a statement by the spokesman to the secretary to the government, Willie Bassey Buhari explained that the tenure elongation which takes effect from 1st October 2019 is to ensure “stability in the Federal Civil Service and effective delivery on the nine priority areas of the administration as well as the mandates given to the new Ministers.”


The Permanent Secretaries are Georgina Ehuriah – Ministry of Interior, Ifeoma Anagbogu – Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, Grace Gekpe and Federal Ministry of Information & Culture, Umar Bello.

Others are Federal Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development, Suleiman Mustapha Lawal – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Comfort Ekaro – Federal Ministry of Water Resources and Olusegun Adekunle – General Services Office in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Similarly, President Buhari also directed the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to commence the process for the selection of new permanent secretaries to replace the retiring ones.

The Nigerian Presidency said Government’s decision to extend the tenure of these permanent secretaries is to ensure that the new ministers are properly guided, briefed about their sectors for the delivery on the Presidential Mandate.

The action of Buhari, the Presidency said is in the exercise of the powers conferred under Section 171 (2) d of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

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