ICPC quizzes Okiro over alleged N275m fraud at PSC

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THE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), for several hours yesterday interrogated former Inspector General of Police, now Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Mike Okiro, at its headquarters in Abuja, over an allegation of N275 million fraud.

Okiro arrived the anti-graft agency at 9:51am in company of three other officers of his Commission. They were the Chief Accountant, Bisala A.A, one Mr. Ibe E.C and his orderly, George Todonu, who is also accused in the petition against Okiro.

The ICPC was petitioned by a staff of the PSC, Aaron Kaase, who claimed that Okiro has siphoned the said sum out of the N350 million obtained by the Commission from the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to train the staff of PSC in the monitoring of the conduct of men and officers of the Nigeria Police during the last general elections.

Kaase had claimed in his petition that Okiro had made bogus claims to train highly inflated number of the Commission’s staff in Lagos, Abuja and Kano; trainings which he said were carried out on a few staff in Mararaba, near Abuja.

Kaase said in his petition that Okiro siphoned the amount claiming he would train 500 staff in Abuja, 200 in Lagos and another 200 in Kano when the combined staff strength of the Commission nationwide is not more than 400.

He also stated that in Kano where 200 staff are supposed to be trained, the staff strength is merely 10. He also accused Okiro and his orderly, Todonu, of claiming millions of naira for separate overseas trainings, which they never attended.

If found to be true, Kaase’s petition would have exposed more of the rot perpetrated by officers entrusted with the affairs of police officers in Nigeria.

The first was the lid blown open a few years ago on the alleged massive fraud going on daily at the Police Pension Office, for which six principal officers of the office have been in court for four years in a case involving over N20 billion.

A source from the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs who pleaded anonymity told The Guardian that the ministry had shunned its statutory annual staff training for the second year running, suspecting that some principal officers may have siphoned the funds meant for the training. “They have not trained staff since last year and we are in June now and they have not trained anyone. Last year, they only trained level 8 officers and left the others. These trainings are budgeted for every year, but trainings are not held,” he said.

The Guardian sought to get information from the ministry on the matter but calls placed to the phone of Director of Information, Salisu Na’inna Dambatta were not answered. Assistant Director, Information, Steve Kiledi informed that only the Permanent Secretary can provide information on the issue since he (Kiledi) is new in the ministry.

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