November 25, 2020

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We’re investigating billions illegally paid into public officials’ accounts — ICPC

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Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, ICPC, said its investigation into illegal payments made into the accounts of some public officials was underway, and “the final report will be ready soon.”

An exposé by this news newspaper earlier in the week uncovered the illegal payments of over N4.6 billion into the personal accounts of 21 staff members of the former ministry of power works and housing in the last third of 2019.

An official at the now standalone ministry of power admitted that some payments were made, but were mostly for duty tour allowances.

Anti-corruption advocates lashed at the ministry for saying it spent billions on travel allowances within four months at a time the country was struggling to shore up its revenue base.

Nigerians have also demanded accountability and have asked the government to press charges against erring officials caught in the scandal.

The opposition PDP has also charged the minister in charge of the tripartite ministry of works, power and housing, Babatunde Fashola, and the Presidency to speak out on the findings in the report, and address the corruption taint the report rubs on the administration’s anti-corruption mantra.

Meanwhile, the ICPC said it is poised to make its findings public as its investigation was nearing its end.

“The study is still ongoing and the final report will soon be released soon,” spokeswoman of the agency, Azuka Ogugua, told PREMIUM TIMES in a text Thursday.

“I’ll let you know as soon as it is (out),” she added.

Meanwhile, ICPC’s sister anti-graft agency EFCC, has promised to probe the racket. It gave no definite timeline.

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