Promoting Good Governance.

ICPC discovers N9.8 billion public funds withheld by micro-finance bank

THE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has discovered the sum of N9.8 billion unremitted government funds at the Aso Savings and Loans Plc, a microfinance bank.

According to the commission’s spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, the money is part of proceeds of the sale of some federal government houses in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

In 2005, the government set up an ad-hoc committee to oversee the selling of some of its properties in the FCT. The ICPC received a petition with regards to the committee’s activities and commenced an investigation.

The investigation revealed that the sum of N9.8 billion, being mony realised from the sale of government properties between 2010 and 2014, and which was deposited in Aso Savings and Loans Plc, was utilised by the bank instead of being remitted to the federal treasury.

The Managing Director of the bank, Adekunle Adedigba, when invited for questioning by the ICPC, admitted that the bank had utilised the said money because it is currently experiencing paucity of funds, but added that the bank is willing to swap some of its properties in Abuja and Lagos in exchange for the unremitted funds.

Okoduwa stressed that the ICPC is committed to the recovery of the full value of the unremitted N9.8 billion by taking the properties offered by Aso Savings and Loans, subject to a valuation by the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

She added that investigations are still ongoing at the end of which anyone found in breach of the law will be brought to book accordingly.

Similarly, investigations by the ad-hoc committee on the sale of government properties also revealed that some persons who bought the properties made only part payments.  Consequently, the ICPC said it has recovered over N20.6 from the affected persons between December 2017 and May 2018.