Correction Official Bags Four-Year Jail Term For Job Scam

 

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Gwagwalada, has sentenced an officer with the Kuje Correctional Centre, Ahmed Abdu, to a four-year jail term for engaging in employment scam.

Abdu was charged before the court in 2014 by the Independent Corrupt
Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for defrauding
one Adamu Abubakar of N250, 000.

While handing down the sentence, Justice Abubakar Kutigi said
it would deter other government officials that may want to take
advantage of the unemployment situation in the country to defraud
unsuspecting job seekers.

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He was also said to have collected the same amount from five other
persons to get them employed into any of Nigeria Immigration Service,
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Nigerian Correctional
Service, and signed an undertaking to refund the money if he failed to
deliver.

ICPC, in a two-count, told the court that the convict used his
position as a public officer to hoodwink his victims into paying money
for jobs that did not exist.

Prior to the sentencing, Abdu who was not represented by a counsel,
pleaded with the court to be lenient with him, adding that he was a
first-time offender, as well as, the first child of his family with a very large number of dependants.

Counsel to ICPC, Ngozi Onwuka, in her submission, prayed the court to
direct Abdu to make restitution by refunding the monies he collected
from other victims to them.

Justice Kutigi, in his ruling, said that even though the court was
mindful of Abdu’s plea for leniency, he was only allowed to apply the
dictates of the extant laws upon which he was charged.

He said that the facts before the court had shown a consistent trait of
the convict using his position as a public officer to lure unsuspecting job seekers to pay for non-existent jobs.

He, therefore, sentenced him to four years imprisonment – two years on
each count – with no option of fine, and that the sentences would run
concurrently.

Alleged Corruption: ICPC Arraigns Ex-Court Registrar, Wife Over Litigant’s N80m

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arraigned a former staff of the Judiciary, Mr Joseph Udoh, and his wife over allegations of money laundering.

Udoh, a former registrar with the Kaduna Division of the Federal High Court and his wife, Mrs Grace, were arraigned before Justice Mallong Hoommuck on 12 counts.

In a statement on Sunday, ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said Udoh was alleged to have misappropriated an amount exceeding N80 million from the money that had been deposited in the court by a litigant.

He reportedly issued cheques in the name of his wife who was also a staff of the court but in Abuja, and used the money to acquire properties in some major cities across the country.

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The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.

Their counsel, S. M. Essienakak, informed the court that they had served the prosecution with a bail application and prayed the court to grant his clients bail on non-stringent conditions.

Essienakak gave assurance that the couple would not evade bail.

But counsel to ICPC, Shehu Yahaya, strongly opposed to the bail application on the grounds that the attitude of the defendants suggested that if they were granted bail, they might interfere with the processes.

He informed the court that four of the witnesses to be called by the prosecution were members of staff of the Kaduna Division of the court, where one of the defendants had served as a registrar.

After listening to arguments of counsel on both sides Justice Hoommuck granted the defendants bail in the sum of N10 million.

He also asked them to provide two sureties in like sum who must be members of the legal profession and must own properties in a Government Reserved Area (GRA) in Kaduna.

The judge, thereafter, adjourned the matter until January 28, 29, and 30, 2020, for the continuation of hearing.

IPPIS: Health, Tertiary Institutions ‘Worst Culprits’ As FG Saves N18bn

ICPC spokesperson, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa.

 

 

The Federal Government has intensified the fight against corruption through the enforcement of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

This comes as the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) said it has saved the government over N18 billion through the system.

“We’ve saved about N18 billion right now that we told the government, in the words of my chairman, ‘restrain the money,” said ICPC spokesperson, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa.

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Okoduwa, the Director of Public Enlightenment at the anti-graft agency, made the disclosure on Tuesday during her appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

She noted that some Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) that were not on IPPIS have been made to join the scheme as a result of the development.

 

The ICPC spokesperson stressed, “It is even more than N18 billion right now. The Ministry of Finance is capturing them now on IPPIS but their personnel expenditure alone, we’ve restrained over N18 billion.”

She recalled that the agency launched its System Study Review at the national summit on ‘Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service’ which held in Abuja on November 19.

The report, she noted, identified some health and education institutions as the worst culprits in padding budgets allocated to payment of personnel’s salaries.

Okoduwa highlighted a situation where the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Bayelsa had over N900 million as surplus in its salary purse.

She explained that the case was flagged while the management team of the centre was summoned to clarify the rationale behind the surplus uncovered.

 

The Worst Culprits

The ICPC official revealed that the team gave the excuse that the personnel cost was inflated in order to execute projects which the government could not approve for the FMC.

She said, “Within January to July, you are still having balances on your salaries, how come? Because ordinarily, you should have exhausted your salary if you paid everybody and nobody complained you didn’t pay them.

“How come all of a sudden you are having N30 million, N50 million left on your salary may be for a particular MDA? It shows you had padded your nominal roll ab initio and you have paid those who are actually on the ground.”

“For example, they’ve been drawing down on such monies and using them for travels when they are not supposed to use that.

“ICPC, in doing that, brought out the report that health institutions, universities… they are the worst culprits,” she stated.

Okoduwa stressed that the activities and functions of the ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were not just backed by policies but rooted in law.

According to her, the system study conducted by ICPC is to follow up with institutions that fall in the partially-compliant and non-compliant categories to ensure there are noticeable changes.

The ICPC spokesperson said where such changes were not seen, the agency would impose a new system on erring individuals and agencies before the enforcement stage and make it criminal.

She added that the study has had effects on the MDAs as their heads and some ministers in other cases approached the ICPC on how to correct their wrongs.

ICPC Arraigns Two For N4.7billion Fraud In Benue

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs

 

 

Two officials of the Benue State Government, Mr. Stephen Amase, Principal Private Secretary to the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom and Mr. Manger T Emmanuel, a former Commissioner of Works and presently, Special Adviser, Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology, Benue State have been arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) before the Benue State High Court sitting in Makurdi, Benue State and presided over by Justice S.O Itodo.

The duo were arraigned for conferring unfair advantage upon themselves and for holding indirect private interest in a contract valued at N4,766,858,449.63(Four billion seven hundred and sixty-six million eight hundred and fifty-eight thousand four hundred and forty-nine naira, sixty-three kobo) only, an offence which contravenes Sections 12 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

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The prosecution counsel for ICPC, Mr. G. O Iwuagwu informed the Judge that sometime in March 2016, the first accused person, Mr. Stephen Amase while being a public servant as the Principal Private Secretary to the Governor of Benue State, conferred unfair advantage upon himself by using his position to secure the award of a contract to Tongyi New International Construction Limited for the sum of N4,766,858,445.63, from the government he is serving, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

Iwuagwu also told the Judge that the second accused person, Mr. Manger T.Emmanuel conspired with the Principal Private Secretary by using his position to award a contract to an unqualified company Tongyi New International Construction Limited for the sum of N4,766,858,445.63, in a deliberate act of misleading the State Tenders Board and State Executive Council in the award of the contract, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The counts were read and the accused persons pleaded not guilty, the defence counsel, Mr. C. A. K. Asheka, SAN made application for their bail, which was not opposed by the prosecution counsel.

Justice Itodo granted them bail in the sum of N10,000,000 with one surety each of not less than grade level 16 and serving with the Benue State Government. The sureties are to deposit evidence of ownership of landed property within Makurdi metropolis.

The case was adjourned to 5th, 6th and 7th of February, 2020 for further hearing.

Ministries Of Foreign Affairs, Justice Got N5.6bn In 2019 Budget – ICPC

 

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has said that both the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice had the sum of N5.6 billion inserted in the 2019 budget for the execution of zonal intervention projects.

ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, at a media roundtable in Abuja, to promote the ‘My Constituency, My Project’ initiative of the Commission revealed that a breakdown of the 2019 allocation for zonal interventional projects shows that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) would spend N2.9 billion on constituency projects.

Owasanoye added that the allocation of N2.7 billion to the Ministry of Justice in the same budget brings to the fore, some of the anomalies surrounding the implementation of constituency projects across the country.

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He was concerned that constituency projects, which principally were projects and empowerment programmes designed to bring development to rural communities within the country had been included the budgets of MFA and other non-relevant ministries and agencies.

According to him, “What is constituency project doing in Foreign Affairs? We will ask questions with this kind of allocation.”

The ICPC boss further revealed that only about 60 percent of constituency projects have been completed with a lot of them executed in shoddy ways due to poor technical designs, impositions and other sundry irregularities.

He stressed that the Commission would not give up on tracking of constituency projects as long as the government kept funding them and therefore called on local communities to own the projects for themselves.

Professor Owasanoye also called for the handover of zonal intervention projects to local government authorities upon completion for effective maintenance and sustainability of the projects.

He said, “If somebody had nominated a project and succeeded in getting the project to the community, it is not the duty of the person to maintain it. Communities need to understand that it was public funds that was used. They need to take ownership. We recommend that the project needs to be handed over to the local government for the community to take over.”

The Director-General of the National Orientation Agency, Dr. Garba Abari, who was also at the round table called for citizens’ participation in constituency projects.

Abari noted that the active involvement of the communities in the planning and execution of constituency projects would remove the issues of corruption and abuse.

He stressed that such ownership would ensure that contractors do not use substandard materials for the projects as well as ensure that completed projects were not vandalized when handed over.

Ibadan Polytechnic Examiner Bags 20-Year Jail Term For Malpractice

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs

 

A part-time examiner at The Polytechnic, Ibadan, Mr. Olanrewaju Kayode, has been sentenced to a 20-year jail term for committing examination malpractice.

Justice Joyce Abdulmalik of the Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, found Mr. Kayode guilty of all charges preferred against him.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in a statement, said that Mr. Kayode had been arraigned in June 2016 on a 5-count for allegedly collecting sums of money from five students of the institution and attempting to assist them to alter and secure higher examination scores on different scripts written outside the Examination Hall.

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Mr. Kayode, a part-time examiner assessed and marked students’ examination scripts of the Department of Accountancy at the Polytechnic.

Justice Abdulmalik gave the judgement after ICPC’s Prosecution Counsel, Barrister Aderonke Bisi-Balogun proved beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Kayode committed all the offences leveled against him.

She stated that the convict was to serve four years jail term on each of the five counts bringing the total to 20 years imprisonment.

“The sentence is to run concurrently commencing from 20th June 2016, the first day of his arrest”, the statement added.

FG’s School-Feeding Programme: ICPC Arrests Two Over Alleged N68m Fraud

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs

The recently-launched collaboration between the National Social Investment Office (NSIO) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to root out corruption in the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) has begun to yield fruits as two persons involved with the programme in Kogi State are currently under arrest by ICPC for alleged N68,097,053 fraud.

The suspects include Hon. Adoga Ibrahim and Khadijat Karibo.
While Ibrahim was appointed the State Focal Person in 2016 for the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme (NHGSFP) for Kogi State and left office in May 2019, Karibo is still serving as the state’s Programme Manager.

A petition alleging that the erstwhile State Focal Person and the Programme Manager had connived and diverted large sums of money meant for payments to cooks in the national school feeding programme in Kogi State was received by ICPC.

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The petition alleged that the duo had perpetrated “unlawful and unethical deductions” from the accounts of cooks by the use of letters purportedly signed by them conveying their consent that “a blanket and unspecified amount be moved to 10 different business accounts from the cooks’ accounts for sundry aggregated commodity supplies”.

The petition further alleged that the massive fraudulent actions were pulled off by the officials acting in concert with some banks in the state.

Preliminary findings from ICPC investigations indicate that for the programme to aggregate food items, the request must come from a state governor clearly stating the names and details of suppliers to the National Coordinator of the NHGSFP for approval.

This approval was lacking in the case under investigation as Hon. Adoga only submitted a request in September 2018 but could not present evidence of an approval, hence money was paid directly by the programme to the cooks’ accounts.

However, further findings indicate that the Focal Person and the State Programme Manager, in violation of the rights of the cooks, directed banks to place a lien on their accounts which were complied with, and thereafter had a total sum of N40, 388,558.00 transferred from the accounts of 627 cooks to the accounts of 10 companies out of the money meant for January 2019 feeding programme for 20 days.

Similarly, another N27, 708,495.00 was transferred from the accounts of 850 cooks to 9 companies’ accounts out of April 2019 feeding programme for 10 days by the suspects.

Other acts of corruption discovered in the Kogi programme include the fact that after cooks had signed the issuance voucher for the release of foodstuffs, store-keepers would release lesser quantities, and also that some foodstuff supplies for monies deducted from cooks’ accounts were never made, neither were the monies refunded nor accounted for.

The NSIO had approached ICPC for a collaboration to get rid of corruption in the implementation of the Federal Government’s SIPs namely: school feeding for pupils, cash transfers to very poor people, enterprise and empowerment programme, and N-Power. The recent launch of the collaboration featured the unveiling of a dedicated toll-free hotline (0800-CALL-ICPC: 0800-2255-4272) for reporting corruption in the programmes.

Ex-AFN Secretary-General, Akawu Arrested Over Alleged $130,000 Fraud

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has arrested the former Secretary-General of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Mr Amaechi Akawu.

Spokesperson for the commission, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, disclosed this in a statement forwarded to Channels Television on Monday.

Akawu was arrested over allegations of misappropriation of $130, 000 belonging to the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF).

“Akawu was detained on Tuesday 22nd October 2019 following his arrest and was subsequently released on administrative bail the next day, to enable him submit some vital documents that were requested by investigators handling the case.

“ICPC had received a petition alleging that he had failed to account for $130,000 mistakenly paid into the account of AFN in 2017 by IAAF,” the statement said.

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According to Okoduwa, IAAF had in a letter to AFN in March 2017 volunteered to grant $20,000 to the Federation towards the successful hosting of the CAA Grand Prix Competition in Delta State, popularly known as 2017 Warri Relay Competition.

The international body for athletics, however, while fulfilling the pledge mistakenly paid $150,000 to AFN in May 2017, a sum which was in excess of the $20, 000 grants it had earlier pledged.

IAAF was said to have written to the Nigerian body two months after the payment admitting the mistake and promptly requested that the $130, 000 excess be returned forthwith.

ICPC noted that AFN has yet to refund the excess fund with Akawu as the secretary-general, claiming that the entire $130, 000 was spent on hosting the competition that held in July 2017.

“Details available to the commission have revealed several transactions on the account which were originated by the (former) secretary-general moments after the payment of the money.

“ICPC found out that Akawu, acting without AFN Board, got several approvals for the release of the money through a series of letters to the then Minister of Youths and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung,” the statement added.

The anti-graft agency disclosed that Akawu requested and got approval for the release of N30.4 million, N4.9 million and $20, 000 on different occasions but all in July 2017 as expenses for the competition.

It also accused the former secretary-general of requesting N9.5 million in the same period, but N5 million was approved by the then permanent secretary at the ministry.

The commission said Akawu has yet to furnish it with the evidence of the expenditures.

He was said to have informed investigators that he had submitted all the documents relating to how the $130, 000 was spent by AFN to the registry in the office of the minister.

Operatives Arrest Another 26 FRSC Officials For Extortion On Highways

File photo

 

 

Another set of 26 officials of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has been arrested for allegedly extorting money from road users on highways in the country.

The spokesperson for the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, disclosed this in a statement forwarded to Channels Television.

She explained that ICPC officials made the arrests in collaboration with some agencies of the Federal Government.

Other agencies involved in the operation tagged “Operation Tranquillity” included the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Department of State Services (DSS).

READ ALSO: 37 FRSC Officials, Five Others Arrested Over Extortion Of Motorists On Highway

The arrest of the new set of FRSC officials was made public two months after the operation nabbed 37 officials of the agency for allegedly committing similar offence.

Okoduwa revealed that part of the operation conducted in Owerri, the Imo State capital also led to the arrest of a man who was alleged to be the custodian of the proceeds of extortion.

She noted that the operation was the second one in three months since the beginning of 2019, and was also conducted simultaneously across four states between October 2 and 5.

A breakdown of the figure revealed that the civilian and nine FRSC officials in Imo, eight officials in Kaura-Namoda – Zamfara State, five in Ore – Ondo State, and four in Potiskum – Yobe State, were arrested respectively on roads across the states.

Various sums of money were reportedly found on the arrested corps officials and the civilian during the operation before they were taken into ICPC custody.

All the officials and the civilian arrested have been granted administrative bail pending their prosecution by the Commission at the conclusion of investigations.

The ICPC spokesperson said this followed the receipt of a complaint from the management of the FRSC of extortion activities by some members of its patrol teams nationwide.

The FRSC management had observed that incidents of extortion were rampant on highways across the country.

The just-concluded operation was conducted in the four which were not part of the earlier operation carried out in six states.

ICPC Declares Ex-Presidential Aide, Obono-Obla Wanted

Mr Okoi Obono-Obla

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has declared the former Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP), Okoi Obono-Obla, wanted.

The anti-graft agency made this announcement in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, on Tuesday.

Obono-Obla is wanted by the ICPC due to “his repeated failure to appear before it to answer questions bordering on allegations of fraud and corruption.”

The former presidential aide, according to ICPC, is facing a series of allegations levelled against him by members of the public on his role as head of the government panel on asset recovery.

“The Commission is in receipt of petitions accusing him of abuse of office, falsification of admission records, living above his income and collection of gratification from suspects under his investigation.

“The suspended chairman is also facing allegations of working outside the guidelines governing the panel by investigating unauthorized petitions and prosecuting suspects without recourse to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation,” the statement read in part.

ICPC said they have conducted series of investigations on the allegations with preliminary findings showing that some provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and extant laws of Nigeria had been allegedly violated by Mr. Obono-Obla.

“Consequently, ICPC had extended several invitations to him, which he had failed to honour without giving any reason. Attempts to track and make him appear before the Commission also failed leading ICPC to contact other law enforcement agencies for assistance concerning his whereabouts.

“One of such contact has yielded results as records from the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) show that Mr. Obono-Obla had travelled out of the country,” the statement read in part.

According to the EFCC, the NIS records revealed that he left the country to an undisclosed location on 17th August, 2019, through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, and has not returned two months after.

SERAP Asks EFCC, ICPC To Investigate MDAs Over Recruitment Sandals

SERAP Threatens To Sue UI, AAUA Over Increased Fees

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) have been asked to “jointly carry out a prompt, thorough, transparent and effective investigation into allegations that principal officers and members of the Nigerian Senate are using their official positions to get job slots from government agencies.”

The call was made by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP) in a petition dated 18 October 2019 and signed by its deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare.

SERAP also urged the anti-corruption agencies to: “probe allegations that some ministries, departments, and agencies are selling the employment slots at their disposal, with a single slot being allegedly sold for as much as N1.5 million.

“We urge you to prosecute anyone suspected to be involved should you consider there is relevant and sufficient admissible evidence, and to make public the outcome of any investigation.

“These allegations show the face of public recruitment in Nigeria in recent decades, which has typically been that of political influence, cronyism, patronage, and corruption. The allegations amount to a fundamental breach of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended), the country’s anti-corruption legislation and international obligations, particularly article 7 of the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.”

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The letter copied to the chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Itse Sagay, read in part: “SERAP urges you to invite the principal officers and members of the Senate and government agencies allegedly involved for interrogation and questioning, and to prosecute them if your investigation indicates relevant and sufficient admissible evidence. This would show your agencies’ willingness to proactively exert your mandates and act as a deterrent against breaches of Nigeria’s constitution, anti-corruption legislation, and international standards.”

SERAP also alleged that “The leadership of the Senate allegedly received 100 employment slots from FIRS to share among themselves. The Senate President Ahmad Lawan (Yobe North) allegedly secured 26 job slots from the FIRS.”

Meanwhile, the statement also quoted the Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character, Danjuma La’ah, reportedly saying that: We are aware that some of the agencies are selling the employment slots at their disposal. They are commercialising employment, selling a single slot for as much as N1.5m when we have children who have graduated from tertiary institutions who could not get any job for many years. Some people are just taking Nigerians for granted. Our children are suffering, running from one end to another, looking for jobs.”

Constituency Projects: ICPC Recovers Three Ambulances, 500KVA Transformer From Senator Kashamu

 

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has recovered three ambulances and a 500KVA transformer which are Constituency Project items, from Senator Buruji Kashamu.

According to the ICPC, the items were part of 2016 Constituency Projects meant to be distributed to Ogun East Senatorial District. They were discovered at his Constituency Project Office in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.

The three ambulances which were procured at the cost of N6m each were meant to be supplied to Obada Healthcare Centre, Oke Sopin in Ijebu North Local Government Area; Community Health Centre, Itele in Ijebu East Local Government Area; and Community Health Centre, Ogijo in Sagamu Local Government Area respectively.

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The transformer is the last of an initial eleven meant for distribution to various communities of Ogun East Senatorial District which were procured at the cost of N3.6m each, bringing the total for the entire eleven transformers to N39.5m.

The Commission received intelligence about the items from a concerned citizen who became aware of the Commission’s Constituency Project Tracking Group initiative which exercise has so far covered 12 states of the federation.

The recovered items were seized and the vehicles were moved to a Police Station while the 500KVA Transformer was marked with the Commission’s seizure seal and in the interim, kept in the custody of the Manager of the Senator’s office.