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Cross River monarchs, others deplore alleged probe of Oyo-Ita by FG

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Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita

The Obong of Calabar Executive Forum and others have condemned the alleged investigation for fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of the Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF), Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita.

Chairman of the forum, Chief Asuquo Ekpenyong, the Muri Munene of Efut and Paramount Ruler of Calabar South, Prof. Itam Hogan Itam, and others in separate interviews in the Cross River capital vouched for the integrity of the nation’s topmost civil servant.

Ekpenyong said: “I have worked very closely with Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita and can vouch for her character and integrity. She cannot be associated with any financial improprieties and therefore should be given a fair chance to defend herself as against trying her on the pages of newspapers.

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“She is a lady of impeccable character and very professional. There is no prima facie evidence that she is culpable. The fact that the EFCC has come into the investigation, in other climes, no one will hear until after the exercise, and the affected officer queried and he or she responds to the query and then a decision is given. One can see rightly that it is a planned, manipulated and orchestrated matter, which is intended to intimidate her out of office.”

On his part, Prof. Itam noted: “She is, indeed, an epitome of honesty, integrity and dedication to duty. She worked with President (Muhammadu) Buhari some years back as Chief Accountant in the Petroleum Task Fund (PTF) at the time the President was the head of the defunct establishment, yet she was not found wanting.”

The traditional ruler labelled her an epitome of humility, hardwork and integrity, “who has had over three decades of public service without blemish”, believing that she would be exonerated from the allegations at the end of day.

A senior Efik son and fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), Elder Gershom Davis, submitted: “I hope that President Muhammadu Buhari who came to power on a mantra of integrity and good character will not allow the powers that be to dent the image of one of his best public servants.”

A retired federal high court judge, Justice Charles Effanga Archibong, asserted that the embattled HoSF was a victim of a high-powered power-play, adding: “She is the crème de la crème of her own generation.”


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