The Edo State Government has denied reports in a section of the media that it owed the late Coach Amodu Shaibu the sum of N25 million.
A statement signed by Peter Okhiria, the Chief Press Secretary to the state Governor, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, described the reports as “totally false and misleading”.
It added that the clarification became necessary to put an end to the “misinformation and outright falsehood being peddled by political hawks”.
According to the statement, those behind the story want to benefit from Shaibu’s death by portraying the state government in bad light.
“It is unfortunate and sad that while Edolites and Nigerians are still mourning this great icon, mischief-makers have gone to town to reap from his death by crying more than the bereaved.
We, therefore, make bold to state that the contents of a letter in circulation purportedly written by the late Shaibu Amodu, is patently false.
All workers, from the lowest to the highest paid, including committee members are enrolled in our Oracle-based payment system and we do not owe anyone,” the statement said.
It explained that Shaibu was placed on a monthly salary of N2 million, which was 100 per cent better than what he was earning as Coach of the National Football team.
This, the statement said, made him the highest paid official of the Edo State Government.
It added that the said fixed-term contract was, however, not renewed on expiration, due to the dwindling revenues and the necessary cuts in government spending.
“It is basic that a fixed-term contract ends automatically when the agreed end date is reached and the employer doesn’t have to give any notice.
This means that a fixed-term contract is deemed terminated, if not renewed.
In spite of the fact that the said contract was not renewed, the late Shaibu continued to draw his monthly wage of N2 million until it was stopped by the Office of the Accountant General in June 2015,” the statement explained.
It further added that the late Shaibu, thereafter, tendered his letter of resignation in September 2015 when the said contract was not renewed and had been deemed terminated.
The statement, however, said that two days before his death, Shaibu had submitted a letter to the Secretary to Edo State Government claiming unpaid salaries for four months, totalling N8 million.
“May I respectfully recall that I resigned my appointment as Consultant/Technical Adviser of Football Development in Edo State with effect from 30th September, 2015.
The resignation was as a result of my appointment as Technical Director of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF). The Governor graciously approved this resignation with effect from 30th September, 2015.
I humbly wish to inform the Governor that my monthly salary was stopped by the Accountant-General with effect from June 2015.
As a result, I was not paid for the month of June, July, August and September, 2015,” the statement quoted the letter as saying.
It added that the reason the Accountant-General gave for withholding his salary for the period was that he expected the approval of the Governor extending his contract for the next year.
It added that since he had resigned his appointment, there was no need for such approval.
According to the statement, the letter is predicated on the need for the Accountant-General to pay his outstanding salaries for the period of June-September 2015.
It requested the Governor to kindly consider and approve the payment of the outstanding salaries.
The statement further added that though the late Shaibu’s contract had long expired even before his resignation letter, the Edo State Government did not owe him unpaid wages.
This, it said, was because the contract was not renewed, adding that the governor however, approved his claim of N8 million on compassionate grounds.
It stressed that the state still mourns the unfortunate demise of Shaibu whose death had left a deep hole in the hearts of the people.
It added that Shaibu contributed immensely to sports development in Edo State, stressing that even in death, he had the respect, commendation and solidarity of the people of the state.