The Federal Government has instituted immediate disciplinary action against Mr Ozuruonye Chukuma, the Registrar of the Federal Marriage Registry in Benin, for negligence and absence from duty.
The offences, it said, constituted acts unbecoming of a public officer in contravention of extant Public Service Rules.
The Director, Citizenship and Business at the Ministry of Interior, Mrs Soyinka Onijala, disclosed this in a statement on Friday, on behalf of Dr Shuaib Belgore, Permanent Secretary, in the ministry.
Belgore, who is statutorily the Principal Registrar of Marriages in Nigeria, said the decision was in line with the ethics of the Civil Service which encouraged diligence and discipline in public officers.
“This will serve as a deterrent to others who are careless with their official duties,” Belgore said.
He added that he had directed an immediate investigation into the incident and ordered that Chukuma be relieved of his duties as a Marriage Registrar at the Benin Federal Marriage Registry and recalled to the Headquarters in Abuja immediately, pending the conclusion of the investigation.
It will be recalled that some sections of the media had reported that Chukuma was absent from his duty post to carry out his statutory role on May 28, as 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.
Belgore noted that the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, had earlier warned all Federal Marriage Registrars, who failed to carry out their official duties diligently to desist from such acts or be ready to face disciplinary action.
The permanent secretary, on behalf of the minister, and the entire ministry, had tendered an unreserved apology to the couple, Mr Abel Ugiagbe, and Miss Marian Obire, over the disappointment.