ICPC detains Alao-Akala's aides over N6.5bn fraud

The Independent Corrupt Practices and related offences Commission on Wednesday detained two commissioners in the administration of a former governor of Oyo State, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala.

They are being held at the ICPC headquarters in Abuja as investigations into the Alao-Akala administration continues.

Our correspondent learnt that the former commissioner in charge of commerce and cooperatives, Dr. Kola Balogun, his counterpart in the finance ministry, Chief Bayo Bankole, as well as the commissioner in the ministry of finance, Alhaji Majekodunmi Aborode, were quizzed for several hours by operatives of the ICPC.

Although Aborode was later released on health grounds, he was told to return to meet with investigators in three weeks with the necessary documents on the contract awards.

Our correspondent learnt that the men had earlier been invited and granted bail to enable them to provide the necessary documents required by the anti-graft agency in connection with an alleged N6.5bn fraud and contract awards in the state when Alao-Akala was governor.

ICPC spokesman, Mr. Folu Olamiti, confirmed that the men were being interrogated at the ICPC as a part of ongoing investigations.

Although Olamiti did not confirm if Alao-Akala would be invited for questioning, he said the turn of the investigation would determine the situation.

“We want to be sure we have a watertight case before we invite him, these men were his aides and they worked directly with him,” he said.

The ICPC had arrested five former commissioners and the former accountant-general of the state in June following a barrage of petitions against the administration from members of the public.

The five commissioners were, however, granted administrative bail while operatives of the anti-graft agency continued with the investigation.

Our correspondent learnt that a female contractor (names withheld), who is at the centre of the contracts scam, however, did not show up on Wednesday at the ICPC headquarters.

Her lawyers had appeared on her behalf, with the excuse that her daughter was ill at an undisclosed hospital in Ibadan, the Oyo State, capital.

A source close to the investigation told our correspondent that the female contractor had been summoned to appear next week to explain the details of the contracts awarded to her by the Alao-Akala administration.

The aides of the former governor are being investigated in connection with alleged fraud and internal corruption, particularly on the award and mismanagement of N8.2bn excess crude funds accrued to the state during Alao-Akala’s tenure as governor.

Source: The Punch