Alleged Misappropriation Of Over N50million: Nigerian Civil Service Commission Sacks Lilian Onoh,Recommends Trial By ICPC
Former Nigerian Ambassador to Namibia and former Chargé d’Affaires to Jamaica, Hon Mrs Lilian Onoh has been sacked by the Federal Civil Service Commission.
According to SaharaReporters, a report by a seven-man committee indicted the controversial former Nigerian High Commissioner to Namibia over her alleged financial misappropriation while serving in the Southern African country.
It had also been reported how Onoh was accused of illegal diversion of funds meant for the day-to-day operation of the mission and was asked to refund the sum of $45,539.11 (about N19 million), $70,448 (about N30 million), and N614,000.
This was part of the recommendation of the seven-man committee headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Gabriel Aduda.
The committee also had a member of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs as a member.
The committee which was set up by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama following allegations of corruption by former High Commissioner Onoh against some officials of the Nigerian Mission in Namibia, travelled to Windhoek, Namibia on April 12, 2021, where they were received by the Charge d’ Affaires, Mr. Ali Gombe.
Following the discovery of the infractions, Onoh was asked to refund the sum of $42,500 as an education supplement in respect of her adopted daughters and refund $2, 614 as Excess on AIE (Excess payment).
Meanwhile, according to a letter signed by the Director of Discipline and Appeals, NA Esuabana, at the Federal Civil Service Commission, Abuja, Onoh was summarily dismissed after the Disciplinary Committee of the commission found her guilty of “breach of provisions of Financial Regulations on virement, absence from duty without leave, refusal to take/carry out lawful instruction which are acts of serious misconduct.”
Although the daughter of former Anambra State Governor, Christian Onoh was suspended since 2021, her sack was ratified after a meeting of the committee.
The committee also directed that she should be handed over to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) for investigation.
According to the letters dated February 28 and March 22 respectively, and made available to the media, the committee sat and deliberated on investigation carried out regarding accusations against the ambassador and therefore dismissed her forthwith.
Her dismissal took effect from February 1, 2021.
Recall that Onoh, a sister to one-time Miss Nigeria and wife of Biafran leader, Dim Odumegwu Ojukwu (Bianca Ojukwu) was in 2021 accused of illegal diversion of funds meant for the day-to-day operation of the mission and was asked to refund the sum of $45,539.11 (about N19 million), $70,448 (about N30 million), and N614,000. This was part of the recommendation of the seven-man committee headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda.
She was also asked to refund N66,168 spent on airfare of two domestic helps, $425 spent on stopover for “two domestic helps and N34,000 for an extra night in Abuja hotel.”
Others are; “Hotel accommodation – 11-17 December, 2017, N312, 000; Guest hotel accommodation – 26-31 December, 2018, N268, 200.”
The letters detailing her summary dismissal read, “I am directed to inform you that the Federal Civil Service Commission at its 33rd meeting held on Wednesday 14th December, 2022 deliberated on the allegation of breach of provisions of Financial Regulations on virement, absence from duty without leave, refusal to take/carry out lawful instruction which are acts of serious misconduct and misconduct under the PSR 030402(e),(m),(w) and 030301(m) and found you culpable of the offences.
“2. The Commission has, therefore approved your dismissal from the Service with effect from 1st February, 2021. 3. The Commission wishes you well in your future endeavor; N.A.Esuabana, Director (Discipline and Appeals) For: Honourable Chairman.”
The other letter reads, “I am directed to refer to the above subject, and inform you that the Federal Civil Service Commission at its 33″d meeting held on Wednesday 14’h December, 2022 deliberated on the case of the under listed Officer and approved as stated below:
“NAME , RANK: Amb.Lilian I.Onoh, Ambassador; DECISION: The Commission considered the case and approved the dismissal from the Service of the Officer with effect from 1st February, 2021 and that the Officer be handed over to the ICPC for further investigation.
“2. You are therefore, kindly requested to deliver the attached original letter to the concerned officer.”