Sacked DG in trouble for blowing N200b on poll; EFCC, ICPC to quiz ex-CEOs of agencies
Of the 26 Directors-General and Heads of parastatals sacked yesterday, no fewer than 10 may be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission(ICPC) for investigation, a source said last night. It was gathered that President Muhammadu Buhari opted to give some of the chief executives the push, following reports of large-scale fraud in their agencies.
One allegedly spent N200 billion on last year's Peoples Democratic Party's (PDP's) presidential campaign. Some of the former chief executives also awarded contracts to cronies. The agencies under the searchlight of either the EFCC or the ICPC include National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), National Broadcasting Commission(NBC), Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Bureau of Public Enterprises(BPE), National Women Development Centre(NWDC); Industrial Training Fund(ITF); Nigerian Investment Promotion Council; Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM) and Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSIT), among others. A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “At least 10 of those sacked chief executives will be handed over to the EFCC and the ICPC.
The report on their misconduct is ready for these anti-graft agencies to act upon. “All security agencies received the list of those affected about 24 hours before the formal announcement. They will all be placed on surveillance until cleared. “Some of them have actually appeared before EFCC and ICPC in the last eight months. Their cases are under various stages of investigation. “The revelations are mind-boggling and it is sad that some of these chief executives continued with the impunity even after a new government had taken over.” Responding to a question, the source added: “The President bid time to get intelligence report on the atrocities, recklessness and outright graft by some of these former CEOs before sending them packing.” The source gave an insight into some of the infractions.
He said one of the former chief executives allegedly withdrew N200 billion (using curious sub-heads) to fund the campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He cited the case of how a DG was implicated in a N68 billion fraud and other illegal expenditures and loans allegedly secured without proper approval. The source also claimed that a former female chief executive was alleged to have donated N700million to the PDP's presidential campaign in January 2015; furnishing of an office at N800million which donor agencies can supply at no cost and the construction of a store at N240million instead of N40million.
In another instance, one of the heads of the media agencies could not account for all the advertisement cash raked in by his medium during the 2015 campaign. Instead, about N5million was recorded as revenue from adverts during the 2015 polls. The DG was said to have acquired a licence for an electronic medium and diverted the sophisticated equipment to the new private outfit after using public funds to procure them. A DG of a sensitive agency was alleged to have hidden over N15billion in a secret account in violation of the extant regulations of Treasury Single Account(TSA).
One of the affected DGs presided over an agency which was generating about N9billion internally but as at the time he was sacked, he left more than N6billion debts for the agency. Despite the remand of her Personal Assistant in prison over alleged N17million bribery, a DG waited till Monday for President Muhammadu Buhari to wield the big stick. Besides, the award of some contracts before the inauguration of President Buhari led to the sack of some of DGs. The Nation