Former NAQS boss Dr Isegbe allegedly spends millions of Naira on return bid

The last has not been heard of the frantic and desperate moves by the immediate past boss of the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (NAQS), Dr Vincent Isegbe as he has allegedly spent huge sums of money to bribe his way in his return bid to the agency.

Our correspondent has reliably learnt that the former Quarantine boss has made the Offices of the Chief of Staff to the President and that of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation his second and third homes respectively, as part of efforts to get back to the agency.

Dr Isegbe’s tenure expired on December 13 2023, and instead of handing over to the most senior Director in the agency, chose to abscond from office almost a week before he reluctantly handed over owing to the deliberate intervention of the supervising Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, just as he has been alleged to have said his letter of reappointment was on the way.

Ministry Officials conversant with the development told our correspondent that he has been desperately seeking for another tenure to secure his position, a development that has become a nuisance to both the Permanent Secretary and the Minister.

Our correspondent reports that going by the antecedents of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, there is no way he will want to  renew an appointment of an official with so much desperation.

His bold appearance at the venue of the 70th birthday celebration and Thanksgiving of Senator (Dr) George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) at his home town spoke volumes of his alleged dire desperation.

Our correspondent further learnt that various petitions are lying with the presidency and several security agencies over his alleged underhanded deals in the agency just as several staff who spoke on grounds of anonymity said there was general lack of staff welfare and motivation.

Such petitions include but not limited to a recent one by Gamzaki Law Chambers on behalf of Chairman of Donkey Market Maraban Idan  in Kaduna state, Enwere Kelechi ThankGod and Chinjiuche Samuel on acts of corruption, abuse of office and bribery amongst others, addressed to both the ICPC and Minister of Agriculture and Food Security.

Dr Isegbe, had already spent four years as Coordinating Director and another five years term making a total of nine years as the head of the agency, still desperately seeks a fresh tenure with a view to perpetuate himself as head of the agency, notwithstanding that under the civil service rules, he ought to have proceeded on retirement.

Our reporter also observes that another approval for five years would have given him a period of 14 years as the head of the agency and that will not encourage growth in the system, apart from violation of extant Civil service rules and regulations.

Investigations reveal that the outgone CG/DG was not ready to leave the office by not removing a single one of his personal belongings at the expiration of his tenure which was on the 13th of December 2023, not until the 23rd of December 2023, but rather locked up the office and left without handing over.

Frantic search by this reporter also reveals that it was when the issue was reported to the supervising authority, the Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, and a directive was issued which he reluctantly sent a handover note in absentia to the head of department of human resources on the 18th though back dated to 15th of the same month of December 2023.

He had the impression of having an extension before the 13th, knowing fully well that the present Government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu does not just give extension that is not merited.

He was not even mindful of the impunities meted out to staff and the atrocities he committed before the coming in of the present Hon. Minister, since the era of Alhaji Nanono, the former Minister of Agriculture and Alhaji Abubakar Mahmoud, who tolerated his excesses.

Our search also reveals that he has gone round the sphere of this country to seek redemption knowing he has handed over, apart from the fact that he is still allegedly going round Quarantine formations issuing orders by asking that reports from the zones be submitted to him.

The development has instilled so much fear in the minds of the staff of the agency.

The alleged act has also confused them since he gave them the impression that he was expecting his renewal letter of extension to return to office.

Our investigation also unearthed that this impression was also given to the members of the national assembly on the committee on agriculture during the last budget defense.

Some of the petitioners had  alleged that the agency under his watch has become polarized due to his high handedness and level of impunity meted to staff who dared to challenge him for wrong doings.

Meanwhile, Senator (Dr) George Akume has warned against the use of his office to issue fake appointments to members of the public.

Akume gave the warning in a statement released by the Head of Information, Office of the SGF, Mr Segun Imohiosen, in Abuja.

He said the warning was because of the purported fake appointments emanating from the SGF office by unscrupulous elements to swindle unsuspecting individuals.

Several efforts to reach the outgone Quarantine boss proved abortive as calls to his lines could not be reached as at the time of going to press.


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