Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta said yesterday that the commission has arrested a junior officer with the Pension Office of the Head of Service of the Government of Federation (HOSGF) who was operating 50 different bank accounts with several millions lodged in the accounts.
Nta, who disclosed this during his budget defence with the House of Representatives committee on anti-corruption, national ethics and values, chaired by Rep Abiodun Faleke, said the junior ranking officer also owns 18 houses scattered within Abuja.
According to him, the officer was able to operate the 50 different bank accounts successfully by keeping a diary containing the different bank accounts, the names allocated to each of the accounts and their signatures for easy transactions.
The ICPC chairman noted that so much attention was paid to the senior officers; meanwhile the junior ones were having a field day diverting and embezzling funds meant for pensioners.
He said with the intervention of ICPC in the Pension funds office, he anti graft agency has been able to reduce its accounts that were scattered in 40 banks to only four while the agency has also helped recovered over N469.325million being the accrued interest discovered in the pension accounts and paid same to the Sub-Treasury of the Federation.
Other discoveries were made by the ICPC’s intervention through review of the 2012 Personnel Cost budget performance in 234 ministries, departments and agencies, (MDAs). In 2013 over N9billion unspent balance was returned the treasury while over N24.75billion being irregular payments to MDAs were also recovered and paid to the treasury.
According to him, the ICPC also discovered N1.2billion stuck in the accounts of four MDAs based on Court orders and that the amounts were yet to be remitted to the Federation Accounts due to litigation.
He disclosed the MDAs involved in the illegal act and amounts involved to include Irrua Specialist Hospital (N450.2m), Federal Medical Centre Makurdi (N1, 222,681.50),Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC,(N107.9m)and the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (N621m).
He said that the Commission also seized 372 International Passports upon its investigation of Visa Scam, fake Note Verbales and accompanying documents and that 36 suspects were arrested in connection with the scam.
The ICPC boss also revealed that an agency of the federal government was discovered to have put the N4billion being the personnel cost of the agency for the year in a fixed deposit account and that the head of the Agency was being investigated while 62 houses and plots of land were seized from an official of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), who defrauded members of the public through a non-existence housing scheme.
Responding, chairman of the committee declared that the Commission should expedite action in charging government officials found to have involved in corrupt practices to court so as to serve as deterrents to others and to sanitise the system.