No fewer than seven civil servants have been arrested over the diversion of insecticide-treated nets in Gombe State.
The state through support from Catholic Relief Services, Global Fund, and National Malaria Elimination Programme is distributing 2.3 million insecticide-treated nets across the state.
Confirming the arrest of the men under the employment of Kwami LGA Primary Healthcare and Billiri LGA Primary Healthcare, on Saturday, Commissioner for Health Dr. Habu Dahiru, said they were nabbed following a tip-off by residents.
He revealed that they had diverted about 5,450 to the market to make brisk sales from unsuspecting citizens.
Dahiru said, “A team of personnel who were charged with keeping an eye on the process to ensure that the nets do not slip into the wrong hands, were tipped by an informant that the nets were loaded in a truck in one of the markets in Gombe metropolis. This was with the sole intent of diverting them for personal aggrandizement.
“I wish to unequivocally state that the co-conspirators arrested turned out to be four staff of Kwami LGA PHC department. A total of 100 bale’s of the items were recovered from them. Each bail contains 50 nets.”
Dahiru added, “On the same note, state personnel was tipped up by an informant that a similar situation was unfolding in Billiri LGA. The police were informed about three staff of the PHC department, who were arrested and a total of nine bales of the nets were recovered.”
On his part, State Head of Service, Bapayo Yahaya, said the civil servants would be placed on half salary pending the determination of their case.
He noted that the case may warrant termination of appointments if confirmed to be true.
“My office will suspend them and they will be on half salary. If the court finds them guilty they will be dismissed. It’s serious misconduct, actually what they have done is embarrassing too,” Yahaya said.