ICPC Returns Stolen N1 Billion To Ministry, Colleges Of Education

ICPC Chairman, Ekpo Nta, handing over payment mandate to Nana Fatima Mede, Perm Sec. Min of Environment
ICPC Chairman, Ekpo Nta, handing over payment mandate to Nana Fatima Mede, Perm Sec. Min of Environment

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission, ICPC, on Tuesday returned funds totalling nearly N1 billion recovered from some fraudsters to representatives of the federal ministry of Environment and three colleges of education which had been defrauded of various sums.

At a public handover ceremony held at the ICPC headquarters in Abuja, the commission’s chairman, Ekpo Nta, said that the return of the funds to the affected institutions was in pursuant of a court order and fulfilment of Section 6 of the Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Act 2000

A total of N924 million recovered from one Adeolu Olugbenga Adeyanju, who is now facing prosecution, was returned to the Ministry of Environment from which it was dubiously withdrawn in December 2014.

In the same vein, N56 million was returned to the Federal Government Girls College, Sagamu, Federal Government College, Odogbolu and the Federal Science Technical College, Ijebu Mushin.

This represents the amount so far recovered from the total sum of N103 million illegally diverted by a pay officer in the Abeokuta office of the Federal Pay Office from the schools accounts.

Nta disclosed that the N924 illegally withdrawn by Adeyanju is meant for the Great Green Wall project, an initiative of the federal government aimed at combating desert encroachment and draught.

He said that the N924 million was withdrawn through a forged payment mandate and diverted through different banks.

“On the 1st of December, 2014, we received a petition from this ministry in respect of a fraudulent electronic transfer from its account. A forged payment mandate in the sum of N924 million was presented to the First City Monument Bank Plc where the Ministry account was domiciled.

Apart from the money so far recovered, the ICPC chairman said further that the anti-graft agency “is still tracking and investigating the movement of N468,794,613.79 through some financial institutions (Bureau de Change) by Adeolu Olugbenga Adeyanju, the main accused.”

Adeyanju is presently being prosecuted for forgery, theft, conspiracy and being in possession of forged documents at the FCT High Court, Abuja.

The www.icirnigeria.org exclusively reported on May 14 the ICPC investigations into the fraudulent withdrawal by Adeyanju from the environment ministry’s account in a report “How Crooked Bankers, Businessman Stole N1 Billion From Environment Ministry”

The website also exclusively reported how the pay officer, Olusegun Lawal stole N103 million meant for capital projects and students’ meal subsidies from the three schools – “How Civil Servant Stole N100 Million Federal Government Colleges’ Funds”.

While thanking the permanent secretary, ministry of Environment, Nana Fatima Mede, for quickly reporting the matter to the ICPC, Nta urged public officials to report cases of fraud discovered in their agencies or ministries promptly in order to aid investigators.






     

     

    Responding, Mede expressed happiness for the recovery of the funds and its return to the ministry, stressing that the fight against desert encroachment would have suffered a big blow if the money had been lost.

    She noted that 43 million people in 11 states are affected by desertification and that the Great Green Wall project was meant to fight the encroachment southwards of the desert.

    Also responding on behalf of the other principals, A. A. Owolabi thanked the commission for recovering the funds and returning them to the schools, noting that the fraud had caused untold hardship for the colleges.

    She disclosed that not only did the fraud affect feeding of students, but it also caused friction between the schools and contractors handling capital projects, some of who took the colleges to court.

     

     

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