The Federal Government has instituted immediate disciplinary action against the Registrar of Benin Federal Marriage Registry, Mr Ozuruonye Chukwuma for being absent from work without leave and standing an intending couple and their families up on the day they were supposed to be joined as man and wife.
Director Citizenship and Business in the Ministry of Interior, Barr. Mrs. M. Soyinka-Onijala disclosed this on Friday in a statement issued on behalf of the Permanent Secretary in the ministry and Principal Registrar of Marriages in Nigeria, Dr Shuaib Belgore.
According to the ministry, Mr Chukwuma is being investigated due to what it termed “gross negligence of duties, absence from duties without leave and acts unbecoming of a public officer – all in the negation of the Public Service Rules”.
Dr Belgore said the decision was in line with the ethics of the Civil Service which encourages, diligence and discipline for public officers.
“This will serve as deterrent to others who are careless with their official duties,” Belgore said.
He added that he had directed immediate investigation into the incident and ordered that Mr. Ozuronye Chukwuma be relieved of his duties as a Marriage Registrar in Benin Federal Marriage Registry and recalled to the Headquarters in Abuja immediately, pending the conclusion of investigation.
The statement recalled that some sections of the media reported that the said officer was not at his duty post to carry out his statutory role when, on Friday 28th May, 2021, an intending couple and their family members were at the Marriage Registry for the event, but the Registrar was not on ground to conduct the Marriage.
“The Permanent Secretary and Principal Marriage Registrar of Marriages in Nigeria noted that the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has warned all Federal Marriage Registrars who handle their official duties with levity to desist from such acts or be ready to face disciplinary actions.
“The Permanent Secretary and Principal Registrar of Marriages in Nigeria, on behalf of the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, and the entire Ministry, tenders an unreserved apology to the Couple, Mr. Abel Ugiagbe, Miss Marian Obire and their family members who were made to face disappointment on a day that should have been for joyful celebration”.