Operatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission were last Wednesday physically assaulted by some members of staff of Federal Civil Service Commission when an officer of the commission Mr Abbah Adikwu was arrested for allegedly taking a bribe to perform his official duties
Mr Adikwu risks one year in jail without option of fine for assaulting and obstructing officers of ICPC in the execution of their official duties as contained in section 41 (f) of ICPC act 2000.
Adikwu had attempted to bolt after being arrested by the operatives of ICPC who were on a sting operation, and had in the process stirred a mob action against the officers who arrested him on allegation that he collected the bribe and was caught red handed.
The aggrieved party, name withheld initially filed a petition against Mr Adikwu, alleging that he had demanded a bribe from him just to attend to his pending file with the Federal Civil Service Commission.
The petitioner told the ICPC that he had been visiting the suspect’s office since December 2012 on the necessity for regularization of his service with the Commission, whereas the suspect had frustrated all the efforts through unethical conduct and brazen demands for a bribe.
Worried by the non-nonchalant attitude of Mr Adikwu to his plight, he forwarded a petition to the ICPC dated 16th September this year.
Upon the receipt of the petition dated September 16, the ICPC raised a sting operation to ascertain the veracity of claims by the petitioner, and the suspect was consequently arrested after he allegedly collected the bribe.
A mild drama, however ensued when the arrested Civil Servant, after collecting marked money, made attempt to bolt, just as he resorted to a physical assault on ICPC officers who attempted to pin him down to prevent his escape after arrest.
More troubles followed, most especially at the point of whisking him away from his office when some members of staff of the Civil Service Commission emerged to hold the ICPC officials hostage while preventing them from taking the suspect out of the Civil Service Commission’s premises.
Some of the staff members in the process started threatening to lynch the ICPC officials and were about joining in assaulting them when the Chief Security Officer of the Commission came to the rescue.
In the process, the ICPC operatives were held hostage for several hours in the office of the Chief Security Officer as the mob were calling for the heads of ICPC operatives.
It took the intervention of a reinforced security team from the ICPC before they could secure their freedom from the mob at the Civil Service Commission’s office.
ICPC operatives have intensified efforts to arrest more officials of the Civil Service Commission linked with the mob action against the operatives.
Section 41(f) of ICPC act 2000 prescribes one year imprisonment without option of fine for anybody who assaults or obstructs officers of the commission in the execution of their duties.
At the end of the investigations Mr Adikwu and others may be charged to court for alleged infractions against the ICPC Act 2000.