The 21,000 retirees on the payroll of Imo State government have threatened to sue the Governor Hope Uzodimma administration for making their sensitive information, including Bank Verification Numbers (BVNs), public.
Chairman of Imo Pensions Intervention Committee, Ikechukwu Ohaneje, told The Guardian yesterday in Owerri that the decision by the state government to publish their names, the amount paid each of them and other personal data amounted to invasion of privacy and exposure to danger.
Angered that his administration was allegedly being painted in a bad light by fifth columnists for non-existent outstanding emoluments, the governor, in a New Year broadcast, directed the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba, to publish names of all 40,000 civil servants and 21,000 pensioners.
He insisted in the telecast that 99 per cent of the captured persons had been paid up to December 2020. The remaining one per cent, the governor added, were those with BVN issues uncovered during automation and digitisation of the payroll.
Consequently, the commissioner published the lists in some tabloids last month.But, Ohaneje insisted: “By publishing some names in the papers, he (the governor) has infringed on our privacy. We are considering suing the Imo State government.
“What he is doing is against the constitution (Sections 33 and 36), our privacy, even the exposure of our BVN.”