Okiro alleges blackmail in N275m fraud accusation



EMBATTLED Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mike Okiro yesterday denied the allegation that he defrauded the commission of N275 million and alleged that a staff of the commission, Aaron Kaase of the Press Unit, colluded with a journalist to blackmail him with the allegation demanding N10 million.

Okiro, who spoke at a news conference in Abuja, said the commission received N350 million from the Federal Government to train its staff to monitor the conduct of police officers involved in the 2015 general elections.

The former IG said “in a nutshell, there is no iota of truth in the bogus claim” that a “mind-boggling figure as N275 million was misappropriated from the coffers of the commission.”

Okiro maintained that the allegation as contained in the petition written by one of his staff Aaron Kaase “currently on suspension over gross misconduct and criminal activities”, lacks empirical evidence and substantiation.

Narrating his side of the story, Okiro said the blackmail started in April, when he received a text message purportedly from a journalist that he (the journalist) is working on a story over alleged N350m loot in the commission and that a petition was already with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other offences Commission (ICPC) on the matter.

With a demand to see the Chairman immediately, the caller claimed he had agreed with some Editors of six (6) Newspapers that Okiro should cough out N10 million for the story to be buried, because once the story is published the chairman will be sacked.

According to Okiro, he stood his grounds, even when the journalist sent his account number in a text message and later came to his house demanding for the money or else “if the story id published, people will not believe your (Okiro) subsequent explanations.

“This man would not let me rest…therefore I sent him a text” that he received the account number, “but I can’t succumb to your blackmail.”

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