ICPC investigates governor over alleged diversion of bailout funds

The Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and Allied Offences Commission, ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta, has revealed that the commission was investigating a state governor for alleged diversion of bailout funds meant for the payment of workers’ salaries.

Nta disclosed this when he received students of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, who were on a study tour to the commission in Abuja. He said the commission would soon publish the outcome of its investigations.

According to the ICPC boss, the commission was working with ministries, departments and agencies to prevent corruption in the system before they manifest.

He said: “Last year, 27 states got bailout funds from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. We decided to go into collaboration with the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, to monitor the movement of the funds from the Central Bank of Nigeria to the final destination.

“One state, where bailout funds were moved to three different accounts, is being investigated and we will soon publish the outcome of our investigations.”

The ICPC boss explained that the commission relied on petitions from members of the public to investigate allegations of corruption, because it did not have access to early financial intelligence that would have given it an edge in identifying early cases of corrupt practices.

According to him, by the law establishing ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, it is only the latter that has such access. This, he said, explained the seeming prominence of the EFCC in the fight against corruption, suggesting that such early warning signs should be shared amongst all security agencies.

He said despite this seeming disadvantage, ICPC had recorded success, especially in the area of seizure of property that were product of corruption. Nta said: “We have done a lot of seizures. We seized 61 houses from a staff of one organisation, whose income could not justify such massive accumulation.”