Five top civil servants in Kogi State have been arrested for allegedly diverting N230 million pension fund to their private uses.
The VANGUARD newspaper reports that Accountant-General of the state, Yusuf Okala, confirmed the development to the media in Lokoja on Sunday.
Okala, who was also the Chairman of the Staff Screening and Verification Committee, was quoted as saying that the alleged fraud was discovered during the just concluded screening exercise in the state’s civil service.
“Yes, it is true. We have been able to recover N20 million from them through the efforts of the police command in the state,” Okala reportedly said.
Also, the state Auditor-General, Ahmed Ododo, said that the state government would ensure that money was recovered in full and that the suspects would be made to face the law.
He commended the state government for setting up the screening and verification committee which, apart from identifying ghost workers and pensioners, had also helped to plug loopholes through which public funds were being siphoned.
Ododo promised that all genuine workers and pensioners would soon be cleared for the payment of salaries and pensions.
He said, “The screening of workers and pensioners is going to be a continuous exercise.
“No authentic staff or pensioner will have any cause to fear. Gov. Yahaya Bello-led administration in the state has high regard for both workers and pensioners.
“The on-going verification is not aimed at victimising anybody but an effort targeted at saving money for the state to take adequate care of its responsibilities.”