A rather shocking story is developing in Kogi State, north-central Nigeria, after it emerged that Mrs Husseina Mohammed, a civil servant in the state who returned the sum of N1.8million accidentally paid into her account, has been issued with a query by the state government, with her salary suspended.
The sanction reportedly came through the State Auditor General, Alhaji Yusuf Okala, who noted that Mrs Mohammed misinformed the public that she had returned the money to the state treasury even when she did not received any alert to confirm such transactions.
According to Alhaji Okala, Mrs Mohammed only returned N1.6M on 3rd July, 2017, out of the N1.8M she claimed to have returned, saying “the information has caused confusion in the system”.
As a result, he ‘brilliantly’ directed that her salary be put on hold over the discrepancy, barring her from speaking to the press or risk further punishment from the government.
A family source who spoke to a DailyPost said the woman and her husband – himself a civil servant who’s owed six months’ salary – were shocked to learn of the ‘missing digit’ weeks after they made the refund.
“We are surprise that they are coming up with this at this time that the couple honourably returned money mistakenly paid into their account. The husband has not been paid for more than 15 Months yet they didn’t bother to withhold the huge sum of money despite the current hardship,” the source said.
“This family barely feed three square meal just because of the harsh economy and the non-payment of salary in kogi state. From what I know, they have been surviving through the wife even though the husband is also working with the state government.
“Are we supposed to blame them or blame the cashier? The government should also blame their personnel for this defect instead of suffering an innocent soul when she made the state proud. It is unfortunate that they are getting this at this time instead of being honoured for their honesty.”
While the situation beggars belief, it can only be hoped that Governor Yahaya Bello intervenes quickly to stop this show of shame, exonerate the honourable Mrs Mohammed and clear the salary arrears of civil servants in the state.