By Akamanu Jennifer
The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta, confirmed the recovery of N8, 705, 750, 426.15 from Infrastructure Bank and other five sources in 2016.
Nta said about N6billion fund was frozen in the bank alone.
He also said the commission received 1,569 petitions last year, filed 70 cases and secured 11 convictions.
Nta, who made the disclosures at news conference in Abuja, said about 303 criminal cases were still ongoing.
He said: “In 2016, we were able to recover N8, 705, 750, 426.15 including about N6billion which was frozen in Infrastructure Bank.
Also, out of the total amount, N668 593, 621. 60 were refunded to Kano State from SURE-P funds; we have about N292, 013, 150.64 in TSA and N1, 694, 397, 275. 51 pension monies paid to Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO) beneficiaries and others.
“The recoveries include N20, 890,000 for NSITF Multi-purpose Cooperative Society and the balance of recovery is for extorted students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) and other victims.
“About 124 vehicles were recovered under the SURE-P Programme last year. We have handed over 40 of the vehicles, which we retrieved from some directors, to the Federal Ministry of Water Resources on January 26. Part of what we are doing is to escalate the recovery process this year.
“Also, 42 fake corps members in full uniform were all picked up here in Abuja. We have to bring their parents for ‘graduation’ in Abuja before we released them.
“We want to appeal to Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to be careful because these fake corps members no longer go to NYSC camps again to avoid being caught. They now post themselves to MDAs’’.
Nta, who gave update on the petitions sent to ICPC in 2016, claimed that North-Central (including the Federal Capital Territory) topped the chart with 782.
The breakdown of petitions from other geopolitical zones is as follows: Southwest (295); South south (201); Northwest (118); Southeast (106); Northeast (62); the United Kingdom (4) and the United States (1).
Asked of what has become of the alleged investigation of some governors, Nta said he was shocked to be reading stories with some figures ascribed to ICPC.
“We saw some media reporting that we had completed the investigation of 30 governors in the past. We also wake up to read reports about ourselves quoting sources’’.
“Section 64 of the Corrupt Practices Act does not allow the publishing of those facts until we are in court. It is in the court you draw such inferences.
“Of recent, a medium reported that we have placed all Permanent Secretaries on watch-list by quoting sources. Yet, the medium said the story was from ICPC’’.
Nta explained why ICPC had been focusing on preventive measures.
He said: “While the full weight of the law must be brought against corrupt persons, it is crucial that in addition, anti-corruption efforts be focused on prevention through systems reform and reduction of opportunity for corruption.
“The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Commission (ICPC) in fulfillment of its mandate at Section 6(b-d) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000, vigorously pursues systems reform to deliberately and consciously shut the door against illicit activities.
“We not only identify corruption-prone processes, practices and procedures in government agencies but work with them to institutionalize corruption-free processes and enforce compliance. There are ongoing collaborations to strengthen the ethical tone of Ministries, Departments and Agencies through Anti-corruption and Transparency Units (ACTUs).”