The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, Mr. Ekpo Nta, has advocated effective security coverage for those entrusted with the responsibility of going after those who looted the nation’s treasury.
Nta said that the operatives involved in probing the looted funds and property acquired with them had come under threat with the intensified activities in the ICPC against those involved in the theft of public funds.
The ICPC had recently intensified the campaign against corruption probing civil servants and going after properties acquired with looted funds.
The ICPC boss made the comment while speaking in an exclusive interview with our correspondent on Friday.
He said that there had been occasions in the past where his personal residence had come under threats and had to seek intervention from security agencies.
He said that some of the suspects whose cases were being investigated would make attempts to compromise the operatives of the commission without success after which they go after the chairman.
Nta said that it was impossible for anybody to fight corruption without offending those involved.
He said, “The commission itself has not become an exception to this kind of attack. And because we have stepped up our activities, we are seeing more of these threats to our operatives.
“And in the recent past, I have also experienced it as the head of this agency because people tend to think that every investigation that goes on is ordered by the chairman. They make it personal, forgetting that these petitions come in from injured parties who are seeking redress.
“When some petitions come in and we begin investigation, they send emissaries first to see if they could compromise the operatives doing the investigation but because we have spoken to our members of staff here about the consequences of compromising cases, they tend to say well, we can’t really help you because the final thing is with the chairman. And so the chairman now becomes the target.
“I have had a few unfortunate incidents where my private premises had come under severe threats, which threatened members of my family, and I have had to move in a few security personnel to protect the place.”
He disclosed that the monetisation policy of the Federal Government made it more difficult to get accommodation in a safe location in Abuja.
He stated, for instance, that the amount of money provided for the Chairman to rent apartment could not get a decent accommodation in Maitama and Asokoro which are considered safe in the FCT.