‘Why Mike Okiro was absolved by ICPC’
A MEMBER of the Police Service Commission (PSC) has described the fraud allegation against its chairman, Mike Okiro, as ‘false and misrepresentation of facts.’ One of the prominent commissioners in PSC, who is a member of the disciplinary committee, said Okiro’s hands are clean.
In a chat with The Guardian, the source noted that the former Inspector General of Police had been cleared by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) of any wrong doing.
He cited a letter signed by its Chairman, Ekpo Nta, where he stated that “the investigation has not revealed any act of criminal infraction against the person of Sir Mike Okiro, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission as all issues outlined are administrative in nature and within the ambits of career public servant handling.”
According to the source: “Sir Mike Okiro didn’t steal any money. His character is just being assassinated for nothing,” noting that the Okiro’s travails began during a minor reshuffle where he redeployed a protocol officer, one Kasea Aaron, who was displeased by the posting. “We brought one woman that speaks seven languages which include French, Spanish, Italian, English etc. from Benue State to replace him.
So, the former protocol officer was not very happy with the reshuffle. He later met with Okiro and told him that he wanted to do his traditional wedding and was asking the chairman for money, but there was no money. “The problem was compounded during the last elections.
As you all know that PSC monitors elections .We go out all over the country and monitor the police, so that anyone of them that compromises will have his or herself to blame.
We discipline those who compromise. If care is not taken, even the disciplinary action can lead to dismissal. “If you observe very well, you would discover that politicians have stopped using policemen to rig elections. Those who monitored the past elections are full of praises for the police.
They said the police did well but they did not know the pains we go through in checkmating the excesses of the police during polls. We have achieved a lot in PSC. “So, when the general elections were approaching, the Commission applied for money. This was about five months to the exercise.
The money was not available for us. Eighteen days to the election, N315 million was released for the monitoring. The monitoring would involve every member of the Commission. We were below 400. That number of staff was too small.
It would not be enough to monitor the whole country. So, we needed adhoc staff to boost the 400 staff. We now employed 500 adhoc staff increasing our staff strength to 900.
So, that is why the petitioner was accusing the Commission of inflating the number of staff from 400 to 900. Let me make it clear that the petitioner did not refer to Okiro; he was referring to the Police Service Commission, which I am a member.
The staff we are talking about included adhoc staff. It is not possible to employ adhoc staff without giving them training. That was why we did training for them. “Three centres, Abuja, Lagos and Kano were opened for training. But they brought this money about five days to the elections. So, all the plans for training in the three centers did not hold.
It was now restricted to Abuja. “I think the facts about the commission was well misrepresented. If the money for the training was not spent because it came so late, we cannot take it home, so the remaining N133 million or there about that was not tampered is still domiciled in our First City Monumental Bank (FCMB) account. We call it project account.
We have plans for the money because three more states, Edo, Bayelsa and Kogi will be doing their elections soon. So, that is the money that we will use to monitor the elections. “So that money is there.
Okiro did not pay the money into his personal account. It is in the Police Service Commission project account. You can go to FCMB and verify what I am saying. I wonder why people would not hear from Okiro before they started tarnishing the good image that he has built over the years. Okiro did not steal any money and he has no money to refund.
If anybody is eying his position, he or she should come out and face him and not through a cheap blackmail. “One day, an Assistant Editor from one of the media houses came to see the chairman and told him that there was a document that he embezzled N275 million out of N315 million election money.
He then explained to the Editor what really went awry between him and his former protocol Officer, Kasea Aaron but the Editor insisted that the story is in every media house and that he needed N10 million to kill the story.
So the chairman asks him the newspapers and he mentioned it. So, the chairman decided to call the publisher and explained to him that the story is not true. “Unfortunately, the editor came and it became worsen and he was asking for N14 million. He claimed that the story is already with the press and that other media houses have it.
He said he needed N10 million to stop the story and the chairman said story never existed and he began to pester the chairman with text messages that if he did not pay, it would go to the press.
From N10 million to N35 million and the chairman sent him a text that he would not pay a dime, stressing that he cannot be blackmailed.
The Editor started threatening that if Okiro failed to pay, he would publish and President Buhari would read and deal with him, but Okiro responded that Buhari was not coming to witch-hunt innocent people. “The chairman now asked him to send his account number, forgetting that he was dealing with a former Inspector General of Police and Police Service Commission chairman.
The chairman now forwarded it to some people that they should see what he was going through. The police later arrested the Editor and confessed that the story was given to him by Kasea Aaron, our former Protocol Officer “While this was going on, Aaron was arrested for another business deal with someone that does not relate to the commission.
He took the sum of N1million from somebody to procure American visa, which never worked out. “So, the police picked him over the blackmail.
He was charged to and as soon as he was granted bail, they went online alleging that Okiro stole money, but it is not true. Okiro’s hands are clean. He did not steal,” the source insisted.”