MALACHY UZENDU, DEPUTY EDITOR, ABUJA
INDEPENDENT Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) yesterday cleared the chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC) Chief Mike Mbama Okiro of allegations of “Corruption, Abuse of Office and Fraudulent Act to Swindle the Police Service Commission” to the tune of N275,525,000.00
ICPC chairman, Prof. Ekpo Nta in a memo with reference number: ICPC/INV/GBP/HOD/352 dated 6th August, 2015, declared that “the investigation has not revealed any act of criminal infraction against the person of Sir (Dr.) Mike Mbama Okiro, the Chairman of the Police Service Service as all issues outlined above are administrative in nature and within the ambits of career public servants handlings”. One Mr Aaron Kaase, staff of the PSC, accused his boss of embezzling N275 million out of a certain N300 million obtained by the commission for training and election monitoring and petitioned ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to deal with Okiro.
Even as Okiro then battled stridently to exonerate himself, Kasse maintained that what prompted him to petition against Okiro, was “because somebody needed to speak up against corruption.
“The first thing is to set the record straight. Because of fear, because of victimisation, because of the fear of death, Nigerians do not speak out. This is a case of deliberate misrepresentation of fact from Mr. Okiro, in order to commit fraud”.
But yesterday, ICPC passed it’s verdict exonerating Okiro of any fraudulent act.
Said Prof Ntta: “The investigation has not revealed any act of criminal infraction against the person of Sir (Dr.) Mike 1Vlbama Okiro, the Chairman of the Police Service Service as all issues outlined above are administrative in nature and within the ambits of career public servants handlings. Consequently, this Commission hereby direct as follows:
“(a) That, the total balance of N133,413,845.99 from the N350,000,000 2015 Election monitoring exercise domiciled within FCMB be remitted to, the Federal Treasury through the ICPC Recovery Account No. 1012929790 at Zenith Bank Plc.
“(b) That, the Staff of your Commission who took part in the 2015 General Election Monitoring Exercise and were paid 2-way Return Ticket and Airport Taxi to location within PCT and States of close proximity to Abuja amounting to N11,750,000 (list attached) should refund same to the Treasury through the ICPC Recovery Account No. 1012929790 at Zenith Bank Plc.
“(c) That, if the Presidency .approVes of the utilization of the application by the Chairman to Utilise the Abuja-Orlando-Abuja airfare for an upcoming conference; we will consider the matter. However, if approval. is refused. the hind thereof should nbe returned to the Police Service Commission and ICPC so informed”.
The ICPC boss however stated that “investigation findings revealed that the Commission budgeted for training of 900 staff and to conduct training in Abuja, Lagos and Kano.
“However, the entite staff force was not more that 391 and that is the figure actually trained in a programme held in Abuja only. The Commission accepted the explanation that due process could not be adhered to strictly because of time constraint
“The Police Service Commission paid DTA to all staff including those based in Abuja that participated in the training programme held within Abuja. Air-Ticket and DTA were paid to Management staff and others who monitored elections within Abuja and its environs; even at locations were Airports do not exist such as Lokoja and Minna.
“It was also confirmed that the Chairman collected 5days each for two Conferences that ran simultaneously in Durblin and Orlando, Florida. However, it was discovered that he expended the entire 10days on the trip.
“Though, he only expended the ticket-fare for Abuja-Durblin-Abuja, he has however, written to the Presidency to expend the ticket-fare for Abuja-Orlando-Abuja on another trip coming up by October, 2015”.