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ICPC recovers houses, N18m from civil servants, beneficiaries


ICPC Boss, Ekpo Nta

• Quizzes ex-Court of Appeal Justice, Tsamiya over alleged N200m bribe

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has recovered two high-rise buildings in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and N18 million from civil servants.

Civil servants in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) and undeserving beneficiaries were also indicted over alleged breach of the monetisation policy.

In year 2005, under the monetisation policy of former President Olusegun Obansanjo, the Federal Government sold some of its houses occupied by civil servants to them to reduce the cost of governance.

But in recent times, ICPC has been inundated with petitions from patriotic Nigerians, against alleged widespread abuse of the policy by beneficiaries and some government workers.

The commission, while acting on the petitions, discovered through preliminary investigation that a number of civil servants in OHCSF, who benefited from the policy, had not paid for the houses since 2005. While some had outrightly defaulted, others were owing sizeable balance of the money.

Investigations further revealed that the Committee on Sale of Government Property captured 32,305 houses, while 24,345 were eventually sold to the beneficiaries.

However, civil servants in some government agencies notably OHSCF and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) have allegedly turned the policy into brisk business with the aim of defrauding the Federal Government.

The ICPC also found out that some public servants and government agencies were concealing government properties and collecting rent on same without the consent of the Federal Government, which allegedly flouted the intent of the policy that primarily focuses on divesting government’s interest from providing housing for its employees.

It also discovered that staff of the OHSCF allocated some of the houses to undeserving beneficiaries who were not public servants at the time of the exercise, while some of the properties are yet to be allocated.

The investigation has so far yielded fruitful result with the recovery of N18, 031,000 from some civil servants and companies including Montgomery & Campbell Ltd and SICCONS, which have been paid into government coffers.

The ICPC, therefore, assured Nigerians that anyone found guilty of contravening the law would be charged to court upon conclusion of the investigation.

Also, the commission said it has arrested a retired Justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice Mohammed Ladan Tsamiya, for allegedly demanding N200 million bribe from Nnamdi Orji in exchange for a favourable judgment in a National Assembly election case that was pending before the Imo State Judicial Division of the Court of Appeal.

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