THE African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) has urged the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to probe the alleged N11 billion fraud perpetrated by the management of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund (NPTF).
AFRICMIL Coordinator Chido Onumah made this appeal in a statement sent to The ICIR on Monday, saying that his organisation was following developments in the matter and expressed support for ICPC in its bid to uncover the fraud.
“In line with the Commission’s customary adherence to professionalism, we urge a thorough, painstaking and dispassionate engagement with all the issues surrounding the controversial management of the Trust Fund,” he said.
Onumah noted that the AFRICMIL had, in a letter to ICPC Chairman Bolaji Owasanoye on October 6, urged the commission to get to the root of the breach of the Act establishing the NPTF, as well as the wilful disregard of the recommendation of the KPMG report which established the grounds for prudent management of the trust fund.
Apart from the fact that the said money was not dully approved by the NPTF Executive Secretary Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto, Onumah alleged that it was used for the procurement of substandard equipment for the Police.
According to him, AFRICMIL findings revealed that among the equipment said to have been purchased for Police personnel, the bulletproof vests, helmets and some of the Toyota Buffalo vehicles fell far short of the required standards.
He urged ICPC to scrutinise the equipment and other items procured to see whether they met the needs of the Police.
Onumah also urged the ICPC to be interested in investigating how more than N722 million out of over N1.6 billion released as take-off grant of the secretariat of the trust fund was used.
According to the statement, N722 million was said to have been spent within five months even as accommodation and other necessary equipment had been provided free by the Nigeria Police Force.
He noted that the unilateral decision of the executive secretary to conduct business without the consent of the chairman of the board of trustees or collaboration with the Bureau of Public Procurement was a flagrant violation of Sections 11(b) and 12(1)a of 2019 NPTF Act.
He further said that such gross misconduct should not be condoned by the ICPC and citizens who meant well for the Police and the country.
Onumah stated that the trust fund fraud was one of huge interest to the people because of the institution and the personalities involved.
He expressed confidence in ICPC to deal with the issue professionally in the interest of justice.