The Civil Society Network Against Corruption has faulted the report of investigation of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, on the allegation of fraud involving the Chairman, Police Service Commission, Mike Okiro, in the handling of funds released for staff training and monitoring of police personnel during the last general elections.
The CSNAC Chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, in a letter dated August 28, 2015, to the Chairman of the ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta, faulted the agency’s finding in its report of investigation stating that the issues did not disclose criminal infraction against Okiro, despite asking him (Okiro) to refund some money.
The ICPC’s report of investigation on the allegation levelled against Okiro, directed him to remit N133m to the Federal Government treasury through the ICPC recovery account at First City Monument Bank.
The money is the balance of the N350m he received from the Federal Government for staff training and monitoring of police personnel during the last general elections.
The ICPC also ordered the workers of the commission who were paid two-way return tickets and airport taxi fares to location within the Federal Capital Territory and states close to Abuja during the monitoring exercise to refund N11.75m. to the Federal Government treasury
But CSNAC in its letter to ICPC, commended the anti-graft agency for its swift investigation of the allegation, but stated that the report of the investigation fell below expectation.
The letter read in part, “While we commend your commission for the swift investigation and conclusion of same, we however wish to state that the directives issued by the ICPC failed to uphold the true intent and spirit of the mandate given to the ICPC by its establishing Act. A careful perusal of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2,000 will reveal that the actions of Mr. Okiro contravened several provisions of that law and attract sanctions/penalties. In particular, the following sections of the ICPC Act were violated:
“Section 16 of the Act provides as follows:
“(16) Any person who, being an officer charged with the receipt, custody, use or management of any part of the public revenue or property, knowingly furnishes any false statement or return in respect of any money or property received by him or entrusted to his care, or of any balance of money or property in his possession or under his control, is guilty of an offence, and shall on conviction be liable to seven (7) years imprisonment.”
“From the above stated section, it is clear that Mr. Okiro’s act of inflating the number of employees of the Police Service Commission from 391 to 900 in order to receive N350,000,000 constitutes an offence under this section with corresponding penalty.
“Also, the investigation revealed that Mr. Okiro collected money for two conferences that ran simultaneously in Dublin and Orlando, Florida, expending ticket fare for the Dublin trip only.”