Suicide: Late director was paid December, says Kogi

The Kogi State Government says Mr. Edward Soje, the late director who recently committed suicide after his wife gave birth to triplets, was last paid salary in December 2016.

The government, however, dispelled rumours that Soje took his life because he was being owed salaries.

The Kogi State Head of Service, Deborah Ogunmola, in a statement on Sunday said there was no evidence that he committed suicide because he had not been paid.

Ogunmola, who claimed to be related to Soje’s wife, said his salaries were delayed because of age falsification.

She said despite being indicted, the state government was merciful enough not to dismiss him.

The HoS further stated that it was unlikely that Soje killed himself over unpaid salaries because he had been listed among those who would receive six months arrears.

The statement read in part, “For the records, these are the facts surrounding Mr. 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. Mr. Soje fell into one of the categories.

“Pardoned workers were processed for reinstatement and payment in batches. Mr. 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 Mr. 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.”

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.