ICPC Returns 980mln Naira Looted Funds

Ekpo-NtaThe Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC), on Tuesday, returned to the coffers of the Ministry of Environment, 924 million Naira fraudulently diverted to different company accounts under the Great Green Wall Desertification Intervention Program of the Federal Government.

The Chairman of the Commission, Mr Ekpo Nta, said the ICPC was alerted on the forged payment which was presented to the Ministry’s bank by its Permanent Secretary  in December 2014.

The ICPC also recovered 56.2 million Naira from a Federal Pay Officer in Ogun State, being part of 103 million Naira diverted from funds appropriated for capital projects and meal subsidies of students of three Federal Government Colleges in the state.

Mr Nta said that the successes so far in the recovery and return of the looted public funds were hinged on the prompt alarms raised.

Investigate Lagos Councils’ Alleged Stealing Of N224m, SERAP Asks ICPC

SERAPA civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has asked the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr Ekpo Nta to “urgently and transparently investigate allegations of corruption in Lagos State Councils and to bring to justice suspected perpetrators.”

The petition followed a government audit of 57 local councils in Lagos State, which allegedly indicted eight councils of stealing and mismanaging at least N224 millions of public funds on a range of questionable expenditures and unimplemented contracts.

In the petition dated November 24 2014, and signed by SERAP Senior Staff Counsel, Olukayode Majekodunmi, the group expressed “serious concern about the content of 2012 government audit report and the inability of the government to fully and effectively address the issues raised by the report.”

The group also said that, “Large-scale corruption exposes majority of the citizens to a “double jeopardy”.

According to the group, “The allegations also constitute grave breaches of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Act 2000 and the UN Convention against Corruption which Nigeria has ratified.”

The group also urged Mr Nta to use his leadership position to ensure that the allegations are fully and transparently investigated, and that the findings of the investigation are made public.

“The audit assessment reportedly accused the following Local Councils of wasting public funds: Agbado Oke –Odo, Surulere, Coker-Aguda, Egbe-Idimu, Eredo, Iba, Ikosi-Isheri and Lagos Island East.

“The report also established cases of corrupt practices and other cases of financial recklessness in Eti Osa, Mainland and Somolu and some other local councils failed to remit statutory deductions from contracts awarded to the tune of N40.9m,” the group said.

ICPC Probes Four Governors Over Alleged Fraud

Four governors are being investigated by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission over alleged misappropriation of public funds and abuse of office, a statement by the commission’s spokesperson, Mr. Folu Olamiti has stated.

The statement declined to name the governors, saying, “it will jeopardise our investigations.”

“It should be noted that those (governors) invited for questioning are still innocent until prima facie cases are made against them. So, those who have no case to answer will be allowed to go as freemen with their image intact” the statement added.

Mr Olamiti also announced that the commission had sent some of its operatives to Canada for forensic investigations training on cashless transaction.

“Since 2011, shortly after the Central Bank of Nigeria announced cashless transaction, we have sent some of our officials to Canada to be trained in forensic investigations. I have gone into negotiations with Canada and United States for their governments to give more opportunities to ICPC officials to be trained in that field.”

According to the ICPC boss, the anti-graft agency was also collaborating with stakeholders to check internet fraud in the country.

He added that the commission’s effort in ridding the country of internet fraudsters had yielded positive results with the clampdown on four alleged 419 fraudsters known as Yahoo Yahoo boys in Owerri, Imo State, through a joint operation between ICPC and Nigeria Customs Service.

He said the alleged internet fraudsters had even gone a step further by setting up a school where they teach youngsters how to be professionals in the illicit business.

Apart from internet fraud becoming a major business, the anti-graft agency spokesperson said, its modus operandi had become highly technical.

He further gave assurances that the ICPC was ready to combat the menace.

Promising that there would not be any hiding place for the Yahoo Yahoo boys, he said he would deplore more internet technology experts to fish out these fraudsters.

 

Oyo Governor Ready To Cooperate With ICPC

The Oyo state Governor Abiola Ajimobi has expressed his readiness to cooperate with the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in ensuring better governance in the state.

Governor Ajimobi called on Nigerians to see the role of the ICPC as complimentary and supportive of good governance.

He made the call while receiving the Chairman of ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta who paid him a courtesy call in his office in Ibadan.

Governor Ajimobi, while commending the performance of the ICPC in the areas of investigation, enforcement and prosecution of those involved in corrupt practices, said the agency had greatly assisted in improving system development and restructuring for effective and efficient performance in governance.
Earlier in his address, the ICPC Chairman Mr. Ekpo Nta said his visit was aimed at opening up a wider corridor of collaboration with the Oyo state government to prevent corrupt practices among civil and public servants as the ICPC Act supports prevention, system review and studies.

Receiving the ICPC Chairman, the Oyo state Governor Abiola Ajimobi was glad that Mr. Ekpo Nta remembered his Alma Mata and gave back valuable inputs to develop St. Anthony’s Primary School Ibadan.

Gov. Ajimobi expressed his government’s readiness to work closely with the commission in its efforts at preventing any form of corrupt practice in his administration. He said that his administration would also collaborate with ICPC, especially in the areas of operational audit and how to improve the system of administration in the state.

The ICPC Chairman pledged his commission’s readiness to partner with Oyo State Government in its efforts at preventing corruption in the system, stressing that 50 per cent of the ICPC mandate had to do with prevention, system review and studies.

Nta also disclosed that the anti-corruption war in schools is being strengthened as civic and social studies have been made compulsory at primary and secondary school levels across the country.

Nta added that ICPC had concluded arrangement to review the entire Nigerian university system in collaboration with the National Universities Commission (NUC) to make studies in culture, tradition and values mandatory.