ICPC, FRSC arrest 15 road safety officials over extortion
• PFAN seeks ICPC’s intervention over maltreatment of Nigerian football players
Fifteen officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) have been arrested through a joint security operation led by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly extorting monies from motorists on highways across the country.
The officials were arrested simultaneously in Adamawa, Gombe, Ondo and Osun States, respectively, with the extorted money on them, during the enforcement of the sixth phase of ‘Operation Tranquility’ by officers of ICPC, FRSC and the Department of State Services (DSS).
The statement, signed by Spokesperson, ICPC, Azuka Ogugua and Corps Public Education Officer, (CPEO), FRSC, Bisi Kazeem, said the operation, which was aimed at bringing an end to extortion of motorists and other unwholesome practices by some FRSC officials, resulted in the arrest of seven officials along the Jimeta Township Routes and Yola Expressway in Adamawa State.
Some money was recovered from them as they were raided, while extorting motorists.
Also, the members of Operation Tranquility arrested four FRSC officials in Gombe State, along Gombe Township routes, while four others were arrested within Ikare Township routes in Ondo State.
The team noted that the officials would sometimes enter vehicles belonging to motorists to negotiate and collect the bribes to avoid being seen by passers-by as well as employ the services of local government revenue collectors as agents to cover their illicit acts.
“It was also found in the course of the operation that two patrol teams in Adamawa and Gombe States respectively, were not involved in any corrupt act as they were caught under surveillance checking documentations and ensuring roadworthiness of vehicles.
“All those arrested have been granted administrative bail by the Commission, however further investigation activities are still on-going to ensure that those culpable are appropriately punished,” the statement said.
In another development, the Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria (PFAN) has sought the intervention of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over the plight and maltreatment of Nigerian domestic players by their clubs.
In a statement by Ogugua, PFAN pleaded for the Commission’s intervention in protecting the players’ welfare and jobs at their Clubs.
The PFAN President, Tijjani Babangida, during his visit to the ICPC chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN) decried the exploitation of Nigerian players by their clubs in the signing of agreements and payment of salaries and allowances.
He said: “Nigerian player is one of the most negatively exploited in the world and back home in Nigeria, it is even worse.
“From non-payment of salaries and allowances despite contractual agreement to sacking of players at the beginning or middle of their contracts without payment, and official bloating of players’ wages, while paying them peanuts. These have been the plight of Nigerian players.”
Babangida added that the Association would like to partner ICPC in the sanitisation of the football system in the country, particularly with regards to ethics and professionalism.
“Considering the role played by Nigerian footballers in the interest of national integration, they are treated like slaves. The plight of the Nigerian players has become pitiable, a situation that calls for an emergency intervention,” he stated.
The PFAN president further decried the misappropriation of funds by the body saddled the responsibility of managing the affairs of football in the country.
The Association expressed the hope that the ICPC’s intervention will help the system to function properly.
The ICPC chairman acknowledged the contributions and services rendered by the former national team players, commending their passion for the country.
Owasanoye advised the Association to come up with a standard contract document for its members to guard against exploitation by their employers as well as engage an attorney who specialises in sports.
He assured that the Commission would look into the partnership request by the Association for the improvement of the game in the country.