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ICPC responds to Farouq, Humanitarian Minister, says N2.7b diverted school feeding fund not under her ministry

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THE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has responded to request by Sadiya Umar Farouq, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to clarify the statement attributed to Bolaji Owasanoye, its Chairman that a total of N2.7 billion school feeding fund was diverted into private accounts.

The Commission in a statement Tuesday evening stated that the school feeding being referred to by the ICPC chairman was the feeding of boarding students in Federal Government Colleges also known as Unity Schools, who were all at home during the COVID-19 lockdown.

“The Commission wishes to clarify that the “school feeding” referred to by the Chairman of ICPC was the feeding of boarding students in Federal Government Colleges, who were all at home during the COVID-19 lockdown,” the statement on the official website of the Commission read.

“This is not the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme being managed by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development,” the ICPC added.

According to the statement, Owasanoye had stated that the discovered payments were made to some federal colleges but ended up in personal accounts.

‘’We discovered payments to some federal colleges (secondary schools) for school feeding in the sum of N2.67b during the lockdown when the children were not in school, and some of the money ended up in personal accounts. We have commenced investigations into these findings,’’ the Commission quoted the Chairman’s speech earlier made on Monday.

The anti-graft commission said it issued the statement for the purpose of clarifying the statement of the Chairman and to advise the general public to disregard the said reports suggesting a reference to the school feeding programme going on in primary schools under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs.

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Following reports on Monday quoting the ICPC Chairman as saying that his commission discovered how money meant for school feeding went into private accounts, Sadiya Farouk, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management asked the ICPC to name the Federal Colleges and individual involved insisting that such did not take place under her Ministry.

She had also maintained that Owasanoye was misquoted, citing mischief in the reportage of what the ICPC chairman said at the 2nd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

 

Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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