The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission has warned state governments against diverting bailout meant for paying workers’ salaries.
The Chairman of the ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta, gave the warning while handing over N990m recovered funds to the Federal Ministry of Environment and principals of three Federal Government colleges in Ogun State at the commission’s headquarters on Tuesday.
Nta vowed to track the bailout that was released by the Federal Government to assist states to pay salaries of workers.
He said that the ICPC’s decision was informed by the concerns that the funds were not being used for the payment of workers’ salaries.
“We would like to sound a note of warning too here. I am sure we all read about the bailout to the states that have not been able to pay salaries.
“Part of what we do in the ICPC is to monitor government funds. Already, there are concerns that the funds are not being channelled to where they should go to.
“We will follow how these funds are disbursed and to see whether they get to the targets or not because they are Federal Government funds,” he added.
At the event, the ICPC handed over N924m to a delegation from the Federal Ministry of Environment led by Mrs. Nana Nebe, while the rest N56.2m was handed over to the principals of Federal colleges in Ogun State.
The N56.2m was recovered from a total sum of N103m meant for students’ meal subsidy and capital projects in the schools which was diverted into personal use by a Federal Pay Officer in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The affected schools are the Federal Government College, Odogbolu, Federal Government Girls College Sagamu and the Federal Science Technical College, Ijebu Mushin.
The ICPC Chairman said during the brief presentation ceremony that the N924 million was diverted through a fake payment mandate to the Ministry’s First City Monument Bank Account.
He said that the funds meant for the Great Green Wall Programme of the Federal Government designed to combat desert encroachment through the planting of trees was diverted to different company accounts.
Nta, who said that the funds were released in obedience of a court, order added that the commission was still tracking the movement of N468, 794, 613.79 through some bureau de change financial operators.
According to him, the main suspect in the alleged fraud, Mr. Adeolu Adeyanju, was being prosecuted at the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Maitama, Abuja for alleged theft, conspiracy and being in possession of forged documents.
He said, “The commission is today returning to some victims of corrupt practices, stolen public funds recovered from certain individuals in fulfilment of one of our mandates in section 6 of the Corrupt Practices and other related offences Act 2000.
“On December 1, 2014, we received a petition from this Ministry in respect of a fraudulent electronic funds transfer from its accounts. A forged payment mandate in the sum of N924 million was presented to the First City Monument Bank Plc, where the Ministry’s account was domiciled. The funds were diverted to different company accounts. PUNCH