Authorities in Kogi state have expressed shock over the death of a senior civil servant who reportedly killed himself because he had not been paid salaries

Deborah Ogunmola, the state’s head of service, said the death of Edward Soje should not be blamed on the government – Ogunmola said Soje continued to receive his salaries till December, 2016, even while he was accused of age falsification The Kogi state government on Sunday, October 22, said Edward Soje, the late director who recently killed himself was last paid salary in December 2016 because of age falsification. The government, however, dispelled rumours that Soje took his life because he was being owed salaries. This was gathered in a statement by Deborah Ogunmola, the Kogi state head of service. Dickson Ogunmola, who claimed to be related to Soje’s wife said there was no evidence that he killed himself because he had not been paid. The statement read:

“For the records, these are the facts surrounding Soje’s employment with the Kogi state government: He continued to receive his salaries till December, 2016, even while the Staff Screening and Verification was ongoing. “His pay was stopped after proof emerged that he falsified his age records. His confession to the offence is on video. “Following engagements with labour, the Kogi state governor magnanimously commuted the disciplinary action due against certain categories of offenders by grant of pardon. Soje fell into one of the categories. “Pardoned workers were processed for reinstatement and payment in batches. Soje was in the September 2017 batch and he was aware of this fact

“The Kogi state teaching service commission, where he worked, had forwarded a template for payment to government and Soje was aware that he was listed to receive six months back pay, leaving only two months (August and September) outstanding. “Edward Soje was not just member of my staff; he was also married to my sister-in-law. His death is shocking, both as one related to him, and one responsible for him in an official capacity.” It was learnt that the head of service said she met with the deceased a few days before his demise. She said there was neither hint of the “horrible decision” in his demeanour nor did he appear as one who was depressed.

Meanwhile, optimumtimes.com had reported Soje allegedly committed suic*de by hanging himself on a tree in Lokoja, the state capital.

David Oladele