The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday interrogated immediate past Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro for eight hours over the March 15, 2014 Immigration job tragedy in which 19 applicants died.
Interrogators wanted to know how the N700 million collected from the applicants was spent.
Moro’s interogation was said to be the first in the series of interaction he will have with the commission.
He is expected to return to the EFCC for further questioning tomorrow.
The anti-graft agency had earlier grilled the immediate past Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), Mr. David Parradang and Secretary to the Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prison Service Board, Mr. Sylvanus Tapgun.
According to a top source, Moro arrived at the EFCC headquarters in Abuja around 10am and he left at 6pm.
The source said Moro was granted administrative bail.
He said: “We summoned the ex-minister on how the NIS came about N1, 000 levies imposed on about 700,000 applicants, the relevant statute or authority backing such a charge and how the money was expended.
“Our investigators are trying to unravel many things. Out of about N700million collected from the applicants, N212million was budgeted for the March 2014 recruitment test for applicants.
“But records made available to the EFCC indicated N45million was actually released. So, about N167million meant for logistics on the test day could not even be accounted for by anyone or group.
“We are asking all the parties invited so far to name the account in which the N700million was deposited and the withdrawals. They have to justify how every kobo was spent.
“In 2014, the Immigration Service illegally collected N1, 000 from each of the over 700,000 applicants looking for jobs.
“Twenty applicants lost their lives during the stampedes which accompanied a sham test conducted nationwide for the applicants.
“In spite of collecting the levies from the applicants, Moro shielded Parradang from any reprimand during his tenure.
“While appearing before the then Senator Atiku Bagudu-led Senate Committee on Interior, “Tapgun admitted that the consultant released N45million out of the N212million requested by the board for the exercise.
Tapgun said Drexel Technical Nigeria Limited – the consultant who anchored the application exercise on behalf of the Ministry—provided only the N45million as ‘discretionary contribution’ for the screening.
“He admitted that the development created serious logistics problems on the day of the exercise.”