Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, has suspended payment of salary to all workers employed into the state civil service from January 2018 to March 29, 2019.
Ihedioha said employment of the affected workers did not follow due process, as stipulated by law, adding that his government would not condone illegality of any form.
The Governor directed the Head of Service, Alma Eluwa, to workwith other directors in the state civil service, to ascertain those that merited their employment.
He also constituted a panel to investigate and fish out all ghost workers, as part of his efforts to sanitise the work force.
This decision followed an allegation made by Labour leaders, led by the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Austin Chilakpo, who met with him at Government House, Owerri on Friday.
Chilakpo said: “We have records of people, who illegally got employment and promotion during the past government fFrom 2018 to May 2019. Illegal employment went on in the state to the tune of not less than 5,000 workers. Let the Head of Service say it is not true, and we will come up with evidence.
“Also, some were even promoted to Permanent Secretary without merit. This is why somebody on Level 14 was promoted to become a Permanent Secretary, whereas we have people who are on Level 16 and have been in that position for years. This is not fair.”
The state Accountant General, Casmir Uzoho, confirmed the allegations of illegal employments and promotions.