ICPC Declares Ex-Presidential Aide, Obono-Obla Wanted

 

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

The anti-graft agency made this announcement in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Rasheedat A. 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 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 after 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 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.

PHOTOS: ICPC Seals Houses Owned By NFF President Pinnick, Dikko

A photo combination of Mr Amaju Pinnick and Mr Shehu Dikko and their houses placed under investigation by the ICPC.

 

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has sealed the houses of two top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

Those affected are the NFF President, Mr Amaju Pinnick, and the Second Vice President of the nation’s football governing body, Mr Shehu Dikko.

In separate tweets on Friday, the anti-corruption agency announced that it has placed Pinnick’s house in Lagos and that of Dikko in Abuja under investigation.

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Although ICPC did not disclose why the properties are being investigated, the tweets were posted with the hashtags ‘Do The Right Thing’ and ‘Integrity Pays’ which indicate corruption allegations.

Mr Pinnick and Mr Dikko, as well as and three other officials of the federation are expected to appear before a Federal High Court in Abuja on September 26 over alleged diversion of FIFA grants.

See photos below:

Pinnick’s house in Lagos.

Dikko’s house in Abuja.


See the tweets below:

ICPC Seeks Move To Recover N840m From Ex-President Of Customary Court Of Appeal

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has requested a Federal High Court, Abuja, to order the interim forfeiture of N840 million traced to a retired President of the Benue State Customary Court of Appeal, Mrs. Margaret Igbeta.

The Commission, in an ex-parte motion filed at the court, said that the order would stop Mrs. Igbeta from accessing the money alleged to have been obtained through fraudulent activities in the course of her official duties.

ICPC noted that the request for the interim forfeiture is pursuant to Section 48 (1), (2) and (3) (a) and (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and Section 6 (6)(a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

The retired President of the Customary Court of Appeal was accused of operating a proxy fixed deposit account in the name of her maid, one Theodora Atsu, with Ecobank Plc, where she accumulated N870, 321, 492.15 between 2008 and 2019.

She was said to have opened the account with her passport and the name of Atsu on the 5th of March, 2008, with an initial deposit of N8 million.

She subsequently made several other huge deposits including N123, 745, 925.57 and N5 million, in the months of March and May, 2008.

It was also noted by the Commission that the money was far above her legitimate earnings both as a judge and President of the Customary Court of Appeal within the period that the account was operated and would have used to meet the infrastructural needs of the citizens and development of the nation.

ICPC therefore prayed the court to grant the order in the interest of the nation.

N1.7bn Fraud: ICPC Asks Court To Remand Head Of Disability Cooperative In Prison

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs

 

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has requested a Senior Magistrate Court, Wuse Zone 2, Abuja, to grant an order for the remand of the National Coordinator, Federal Civil Service Staff with Disabilities Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Alhaji Iliasu Olarewaju Abdul-Rauf in prison custody over his alleged involvement in N1.7 billion fraud.

Abdul-Rauf who is currently under arrest by the Commission is alleged to have been involved in multiple corrupt acts including bribery, breach of trust, criminal misappropriation and other frauds running into hundreds of millions of naira.

After his arrest, a search of his house by operatives of the Commission revealed 14 females between the ages of 11 and 33 years, locked up in one of the rooms and were evacuated, after which they were handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) for further investigation.

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The suspect who is also facing multiple charges earlier pressed on him by ICPC was said to have been on the run from some other security agencies in Nigeria.

He is alleged to have used his position as the National Coordinator of persons with disabilities cooperative society to hoodwink contractors into donating cash and items such as wheelchairs, crutches, etc. as “Corporate Social Responsibility” (CSR) for non-existent contracts.

Some of the contractors are said to have paid as much as N50 million as the “CSR”, while others delivered large numbers of items to him.

The Commission, in the motion filed before the court, stated that Abdul-Rauf allegedly failed to rehabilitate ‘disability centres” across the country after collecting N1.7 billion from various contractors under the guise of awarding contracts for the project.

ICPC further noted that Abdul-Rauf had a history of running from the law, having absconded after an earlier charge had been filed against him by the Commission. The motion, therefore, added that the remand would prevent his escape a second time pending the completion of investigation.

The Commission hereby uses this opportunity to urge contractors and businessmen to always verify the genuineness and authenticity of contracts offered or proposed to them with relevant government agencies in order not to fall victim of fraudsters.

AU Advisory Board Member Decries ‘Underfunding’ Of Anti-Corruption Institutions

A member of African Union (AU) Advisory Board on anti-corruption, Alhaji Isa Salami has decried what he described as ‘underfunding’ of anti-corruption agencies.

Salami, who disclosed this in an interview on Channels Television’s Programme, Sunrise Daily, stressed the need for a collaborative effort from various stakeholders to successfully tackle corruption.

According to him, underfunding of anti-corruption agencies is not only a problem in Nigeria but in Africa as a whole.

“It’s not only in Nigeria but the whole of Africa. They are not sufficiently funded. They are underfunded. There are some critics who believe that it is a deliberate act.

“They believe that African government wants to be seen fighting corruption because it is fashionable to be doing so, but in effect, they don’t really want it to succeed.

“Nigeria being the champion of anti-corruption in Africa needs to take the lead by funding anti-corruption agencies so that they can perform very well.”

Salami who is also a former member of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) added that anti-corruption establishments in the country should be allowed to operate independently without interference from other bodies.

He said the fight against corruption in Nigeria is not the responsibility of government alone. “The anti-corruption institutions must be allowed to operate and they must operate independently so that it is systemic and does not depend on the faces of the person in power,” he said.

Active participation and collaboration of all and sundry is important, he said, adding that, “there is the need to involve stakeholders and discuss with them.”

Edo Govt Partners ICPC To Fight Corruption In Civil Service

Governor Godwin Obaseki addressing a gathering in Abuja on July 19, 2019.

 

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has warned that public and civil servants involved in corrupt practices will be made to face the wrath of the law.

Obaseki who gave the warning on Wednesday while presiding over the weekly state Executive Council meeting at the Government House, Benin City, the Edo state capital, maintained that government appointment is a call to service rather than an opportunity to make money.

He noted that his administration will partner with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to check corruption in the service.

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“This government is going to take the issue of corruption seriously and we are partnering with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

“We are setting up a special team at both state and local government levels and the team will have the responsibility to ensure that corruption cases involving public servants; either members of EXCO, civil servants or local government employees will be taken seriously,” Obaseki said.

He stressed that “any public servant caught in the act of corruption will be made to face the law. We will not only take disciplinary action but also prosecute those caught.

“The reports of corruption reaching my office are becoming worrisome. I have instructed the Secretary to the State Government to set up an anti-corruption team within the next week and also open public complaint boxes and encourage members of the public to feel free to send information about any official with corrupt tendencies or involved in the corrupt act to the government.”

Alleged Corruption: Court Freezes N263m Linked To Yari

Banditry: Yari Commends NAF For Air Strikes In Zamfara
File Photo: Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari addressing State House correspondents after meeting with the President in Abuja on January 3, 2019.

 

A Federal High Court in Abuja, has granted permission to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to freeze various sums of money in bank accounts traced to the immediate past governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, gave the permission on Friday, when he ruled on an ex-parte motion filed by the ICPC, ordering that all the accounts containing $669, 248.89 and N24.3 million, domiciled with Polaris and Zenith banks respectively, be frozen.

According to the anti-graft agency, the sums are funds allegedly stashed in the personal accounts of the former governor and companies belonging to him, which include: Kayatawa Nigeria Limited and B. T. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.

It further stated that a breakdown showed that the sum of N12, 912, 848.68 was stashed in the former governor’s Zenith Bank account; N11, 159, 674.17 found in a Zenith bank account operated by Kayatawa and N217, 388.04 also in Zenith Bank belonging to B.T. Oil and Gas Nigeria Ltd.

“$56, 056.75 was discovered in the former governor’s Polaris Bank account. Another $301, 319.99 was kept in Kayatawa’s Zenith Bank account, while $311, 872.15 was found in BT Oil and Gas’ Zenith Bank account.

“The monies, when converted and put together, bring the total amount frozen to N263, 033, 519.3,” a statement by the ICPC said.

Furthermore, it stated that the judge also ruled that the Commission should publish the order of interim forfeiture in a national daily within 14 days, and that the affected parties should show reasons why the funds should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

ICPC had approached the court through section 48 (1), (2) and (3) (a) and (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000, praying for an order of interim forfeiture of the alleged funds to the Federal Government.

All the sums are alleged to have been proceeds of corruption emanating from the illegal activities of the governor and his representatives.

NYSC Mobilisation: ICPC To Prosecute Any University VC Over Unqualified Candidates

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs

 

The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, has revealed plans by the Commission to prosecute any Vice-Chancellor involved in forwarding unqualified candidates for the compulsory one-year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme.

The ICPC boss made this known during a courtesy visit by the Director-General of NYSC, Brigadier General Shuaibu Ibrahim.

He stated that the ICPC will act promptly, once a report of illegal mobilization of unqualified candidates for the programme by a Vice-Chancellor was received.

“We are ready to prosecute any university Vice-Chancellor who mobilizes those that should not go for the scheme if you send them to us.”

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The Chairman while lamenting the menace of corruption, urged NYSC to enhance the skill acquisition training being offered to corps members by advocating a skills-based tertiary education curriculum that would prepare youths to become employers of labour instead of depending on the government to create jobs.

“We can kill patterns that lead to corruption where necessary. Many young people think there is a short cut to success, that once you are out there, you just hit millions. That is not the case, there should be a gestation period. NYSC should create a platform to provoke positive consciousness, the activism to challenge things when they go wrong.”

The NYSC DG requested for the re-inauguration of the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) in NYSC, saying that old members had either retired or been promoted above the schedule.

ICPC Chairman welcomed his request saying that ACTU would be inaugurated as soon as all the formalities were done with.

Tracking Of N2trn Constituency Projects Not A Witch-Hunt, Says ICPC Boss

ICPC Partners OAGF, BPP To Prevent Corruption In MDAs

 

The on-going tracking of constituency projects in 12 states of the federation is not to witch-hunt anyone, Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Professor Bolaji Owasanoye has said.

Prof Owasanoye stated that the tracking was important because Nigeria has spent about N2trillion on funding since the year 2000, without commensurate development at the grassroots.

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His claim was quoted in a statement by Spokesperson for the Commission, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa.

The ICPC boss also said that the commission will not hesitate to prosecute any contractor that has failed to deliver on the projects, including accomplices.

“ICPC commenced the Constituency Projects Tracking Group (CPTG) initiative to ensure proper implementation of funded projects at the various constituencies across the nation.

“The initiative was already yielding positive results as some contractors had gone back to the site to complete unfinished projects.”

AMCON To Partner With ICPC In Recovering FG’s N4.9trn Assets

 

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) is partnering with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to recover of assets worth trillions of naira from entities owing the government of Nigeria.

The decision to forge this collaboration emerged during a courtesy visit by AMCON‘s management to ICPC headquarters in Abuja recently.

The AMCON Chairman, Dr. Muiz Banire, while speaking during the visit revealed that debts worth N4.9tr were being owed the government by numerous entities, and as such, they were in the Commission to partner with it in order to “rescue the system from impending disaster by recovering the outstanding indebtedness”.

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He said, “out of 12,000 accounts in AMCON, 350 entities owed 80% of the N4.9 trillion and the corporation is concerned that it is unable to recover the money, while its lifespan is limited”.

He explained that AMCON was faced with the daunting task of the recovery of government assets but expressed optimism that partnership with ICPC would help in no small measure to alleviate some of the challenges often encountered in recovery.

In his response, ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, expressed his appreciation to the team on the request for collaboration and pledged the Commission’s commitment to partnering with AMCON to achieve its mandate of assets recovery which incidentally was also an important part of ICPC’s work.

He promised that the Commission would set up a task team to put the partnership into effect and that many fraudulent transactions that had taken place would be unraveled and resolved.

Professor Owasanoye further explained to the visitors that ICPC’s three-pronged mandate of enforcement, prevention, education, and public enlightenment placed the Commission in a good position to fight systemic and endemic corruption.