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Groups drag ICPC to Presidential Committee over failure to prosecute Okiro

By The Nigerian Voice
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Two civil society coalitions, Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) and NOPRIN have dragged the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) before the Presidential Advisory Council.

In a petition to the Presidential Committee, the CSOs alleged cover up by ICPC of the corrupt practices of Mr. Mike Okiro, Chairman of Police Service Commission.

Olanrewaju Suraju ,chairman, CSNAC and Okechukwu Nwagwuma, coordinator, NOPRIN in a petition to the chairman of the presidential committee titled “Cover Up Of Corrupt Practices Of Mr. Mike Okiro, Chairman Of Police Service Commission By The ICPC” noted that following a petition of alleged fraud against Okiro, ICPC investigated the allegation and confirmed the diversion and criminal conversion of N133 million by Mr. Okiro.

But the CSOs argued that “instead of recommending Mr. Okiro for prosecution for stealing and diversion of public funds, ICPC “advised” him to refund the said sum of N133 Million to the coffers of the Federal Government.

The groups noted that ICPC has no power whatsoever to advise indicted criminal suspects to refund the money allegedly stolen by them.

CSNAC and NOPRIN said in their petition that “A patriotic Nigerian, Mr. Aaron Kaase, an official of the Police Service Commission (PSC) petitioned the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over corrupt practices perpetrated by the PSC chairman, Mr. Mike Okiro.

“In the said petition it was alleged that the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) refused to approve payments totaling N350 million to contractors nominated by Mr. Okiro for the training of the PSC staff during the recently concluded 2015 general elections.

“Though, contrary to the advice of BPP, the PSC chairman still illegally appropriated the N350 million and spent N217m on the training programme. He decided not to return the remaining sum of N133 million and other over quoted rates which he diverted and converted.

“The Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission investigated the allegation and confirmed the diversion and criminal conversion of the said sum of N133 million by Mr. Okiro.

“But instead of recommending Mr. Okiro for prosecution for stealing and diversion of public fund the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission ‘advised’ him to refund the said sum of N133 Million to the coffers of the Federal Government. The ICPC has no power whatsoever to advise indicted criminal suspects to refund the money allegedly stolen by them.

“As if that was not enough the other serious allegations that Mr. Okiro obtained N4.6 Million for a trip to the United States in 2013 which he never made and the illegal collection of various sums of money from the PSC through several fronts were confirmed but no finding was made by the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission.”

They recalled that “For daring to report the corrupt practices of Mr. Okiro the Independent Corrupt Practices & Other Related Offences Commission deliberately refused to direct that Mr. Kaase be recalled from suspension for exposing the corrupt practices of the PSC chairman.”

Thus the CSO’s argued that “In view of the foregoing we urge the Presidential Advisory Council to recommend the recall of Mr. Kaase from illegal suspension and the immediate prosecution of Mr. Mike Okiro for corrupt practices without any further delay.”