On Monday, 9th April, 2018, the Nigerian and international community of activists were jolted with rude shock of sudden death of Comrade Olawale Salami familiarly called by all as the ‘Don’. A perplexing death coming almost immediately after the celebration of his fiftieth years of sojourn on mother earth on Saturday, 24th March, 2018.
He was not the first Nigerian of the Leftist persuasion to transit to the beyond, nor would his demise be the last of his ideological school of thought. However, by his living, he demonstrated what it truly means to live honestly and in service to humanity. In simpler terms, he spent his entire short adult life trying to make the world as he knew it, a better place for generations yet unborn.
Born in the late 1960’s, at a time when the country was trying to find her footing amongst other nations of the world, having secured her ‘flag independence’ and lowered the Union Jack, less than 10 years ago, and also witnessed its first political disruption through a military coup de tat that later snowballed into an unnecessary civil war leading to the death of over one million Nigerians on both divides, he grew up with an experience of a country that was so full of potentialities and possibilities that, as at her independence in October, 1960, Nigeria was rated as one of 10 most viable and potentially great nations for the future. To a discerning and impassioned mind, this was no surprise, considering the fact that NIGERIA, with a population of about 45 million people had a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 4.196bn (Four Billion American Dollars) while China that was grouped together with Nigeria as one of future prospects had a GDP of USD69bn (Sixty Nine Billion American Dollars) with a population of 662, 070,000 (Six Hundred and Sixty Two Million) people.
On political fronts, though Nigeria is currently enjoying almost 20 years of uninterrupted civil rule with a neo-liberal, pseudo capitalist economy that barely allows majority of the people to eke out a living while more than over 75% (Seventy Five percent) of her Universities, Polytechnics’ graduates are without jobs and no much prospects of any, the last elections held in the country have attracted more than 5, 000 litigations, signaling one of most contentious elections ever held in the country, whereas China with a mixture of its Communist and neo-liberal economic system has taken majority of its citizens out of poverty zone and poised to do more for its people in the future.
In questing for a better future with assurances that should enable Nigeria to take her rightful place in the comity of nations, Wale joined many other Nigerians from different walks of life to agitate for a system change that could only be a product of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) that must be truly sovereign, in deed and in truth. His conviction was hinged on the belief that the Neo-Liberal economy being imposed on Nigerians is incapable of eradicating poverty amongst the mass and allowing the country to achieve true greatness on independent terms. All these and many more symbolize what Wale Salami, the Don of Popular Struggle, represents in his lifetime by his pro-people, Socialist ideological bend. He strongly believes that until our economic system was able to completely take humanity out of poverty range, the struggle for a better life must continue.
Comrade Don was a great loss to the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) because even with his intimidating revolutionary credentials, he was one of the earliest compatriots to believe in the need for the establishment of CACOL even when a host of others never gave the then Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders a chance to survive. He helped CACOL at that initial stage to manage its online contact and correspondences. Don served as volunteer worker at various capacities even before, as fate would later compel it, that he had to be a full-time staff of the organisation wherein he was serving as the Director of Research, Programmes and Documentation (DRP). He turned out to be the most diligent and committed worker, and the intellectual backbone of the Centre until death snatched him away on that black Monday, the 9th day of April, 2018. Whatever may be the plans of death, history has shown us that no revolutionary activist die with his ideas. Don’s ideas shall definitely outlive him in our hearts and actions
ADIEU, OUR INIMITABLE COLLEAGUE!
ADIEU, A TRAILBLAZER IN THE CRUSADE TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE!
The Centre for Anti-Corruption anad Open Leadership, CACOL, with sympathy and much grief mourns the death of Comrade Yinka Odumakin.
In a release issued on behalf of the Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran and signed by Tola Oresanwo, the organisation’s Director of Administration and Programmes, he said “we mourn the sudden death of Comrade Yinka Odumakin who until his death was the national Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, a Pan-Yoruba socio-cultural group who died on Saturday, 3rd of April, 2021 at Lagos State University teaching Hospital from respiratory issues due to complications resulting from COVID-19”.
“The news of his death came as a great shock to us as we least expect it. He was an activist, a leader, mentor to many younger folks, lover of the masses and downtrodden, a solution provider, job creator and employer of labour. Yinka, was a quintessential nationalist and freedom fighter from many fronts. A courageous politician who didn’t mind what others say but stay with the principle that guides his thoughts. He left when the thought that he may not make it had subsided. He was an activist with unique attributes since his days as student leader. We love him but nature had to take its course. We mourn his demise but we are consoled that he left when the ovation he attracted to all of us was still good. We will really miss him”.
“Irrespective of his age, the loss of a loyal colleague in the struggle normally leaves a yawning gap in one’s mind whenever one remembers him. We can only take consolation in the fact that death is the inevitable end of all mortals, without which life would have been so boring, brutish, and in a way, humiliating; hence, we are all born to die”.
The CACOL boss also said “we would recollect how Yinka Odumakin devoted his life and times for the cause of humanity. He played a key role in the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) that fought the government of Sani Abacha after the annulment of the 1993 Nigerian presidential election. He was among the spokespersons of the Southern and Middle Belt Leader’s Forum (SMBLF). He was the spokesman of Muhammadu Buhari when he contested the 2011 Nigerian presidential election under the defunct Congress for Progressive Change. In 2014, during the government of Goodluck Jonathan, Odumakin and his wife were the only married couple among the 492-member 2014 National Conference which was held in Abuja, Nigeria. Before his death, he had also advocated the establishment of the Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN) codenamed Operation Amotekun.
His love for people and quest for an egalitarian society seriously impacted on the legacy he bequeathed to all who encountered him during his sojourn on earth”.
“His death is an irreparable loss not only to the people of Moro his home town but to Osun State in particular and the country in general. His memory will linger on for generations to come by all privileged to know him or any of the family members”.
“We pray for the required fortitude and composure to bear his irreversible transition to eternity. Death, as we all surmise, remains an inevitable end of all; but our solace and comfort remains in the fact that he lived a worthy and remarkable life”.
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has thrown its weight behind the Nigerian Senate in its bid to unravel the mystery surrounding the alleged missing $9.5m interest which accrued to the Federation Account from Petroleum Profit Tax Investment.
In a release issued by CACOL and signed by Tola Oresanwo, the anti-corruption organization’s Director, Administration and Programmes on behalf of its Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, he stated, “We received the news that the Senate Public Accounts Committee (SPAC) has given the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, up till Thursday, to appear before it over an alleged disappearance of $9.5m interest which accrued to the Federation Account from Petroleum Profit Tax Investment. The Senate Public Accounts Committee, which is currently scrutinizing the reports of the Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF) alleged during its sitting on Monday that the principal sums deposited, the tenor and rate of interest, were shrouded in secrecy”.
“It should be noted that The Petroleum Profit Tax is applicable to upstream operations in the oil industry. It is particularly related to rents, royalties, margins and profit sharing elements associated with oil mining, prospecting and exploration leases. The Media reported that the committee had penultimate week summoned the officials of the apex bank over alleged disappearance of the fund but no management staff of the apex bank honoured the lawmakers’ invitation”.
The summon was sequel to the consideration of the Auditor-General of the Federation report which probed the spendings of federal government’s agencies. The Auditor-General was quoted as saying in the report that, “During the examination of transfers to Foreign Excess PPT/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude Accounts, it was observed that during the year 2016, amount totalling $6m and $3.5m were credited to the Foreign PPT/Royalty and Foreign Excess Crude Account as interest on funds’ investments. The authority for placing the funds which yielded the above interests totaling $9.5m in deposit account, the principal sums deposited, the tenor and rate of interest were not made available for audit verification. This observation had also been a subject of my reports since 2017 without any positive response from Central Bank of Nigeria. Records made available for audit further revealed that the balance in the foreign PPT/Royaltt and Foreign Excess Crude accounts as at 28th December 2016 were $0.00 and $251,826 respectively.” This, it added, suggested that the foreign PPT/Royalty was depleted before the year end.
The anti-corruption Czar opined that “It is disheartening and demoralizing how most of the MDAs flagrantly disregard the directives of the National Assembly and the country’s Auditor-General (AuGF) on submission of audited accounts for necessary vetting and scrutiny because there is a lacuna in our Constitution that has made it expedient for them to tactically evade such order with no fear of backlash or any sanction whatsoever for such impunity. This trend is not peculiar to the MDAs only, as the both the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended) and other existing financial laws are either inadequate or contradictory in addressing modern challenges posed by corruption in the country. Since the advent of this democratic dispensation, cases like this abounds. The reason for this inconsistency is not far-fetched as deliberate loopholes exist in our statutes and other regulatory enactments that allows for not only impunities but also make corruption attractive and tempting since most of our approach against corruption is aimed at apprehending after the crime(s) rather than aiming at prevention as it is being done in saner and more advanced climes.
The CACOL Boss further enthused, “We want to commend the Senate Public Accounts Committee for investigating the whereabouts of this huge sum of money. Over the years, we have been at the forefront of championing calls for the legislature to take full charge of their oversight functions especially in situations where public funds were misappropriated. With the advancement in technology today, most of the looting or financial manipulations would be effectively prevented and detected ab initio if we focused more on prevention and greater accountability and independence of organs saddled with oversight and embrace e-governance as a matter of urgency. This is no doubt, in line with our previous calls for the audit law and other useful legislation that are already begging for speedy consideration and passage in the National Assembly for ages to be accorded due attention so that the fight against official corruption could become a thing of the past in the country”.
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has commended the ruling of a High Court in Akwa-Ibom State, which sentenced a Nigerian professor, Peter Ogban, to three years in prison, for election fraud.
In a release issued by CACOL’s Director, Administration and Programmes, Tola Oresanwo on behalf of its Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, he noted, “It was reported that the Akwa Ibom State High Court 2 sitting in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area had sentenced one Professor Peter Ogban of the University of Calabar, Cross River State, to three years imprisonment for the electoral fraud he committed during the 2019 elections in the state. Ogban, a Professor of Soil Physics and Conservation, who acted as the Collation/Returning Officer during the National Assembly election, stood trial on two counts of manipulating and falsifying scores of election results in Oruk Anam and Etim Ekpo Local Government Areas in favour of the APC. In his judgment on Thursday, Justice Augustine Odokwo said it was proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was guilty of the charges and accordingly sentenced him to three years imprisonment and a fine of N100,000 for the two counts, respectively. All these were after a painstaking, diligent and commendable investigation, coupled with brilliant prosecution by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)”.
“We at CACOL believed that Elections are transparent when each step is open to scrutiny and stakeholders can independently verify whether the process is conducted honestly and accurately. The principle of transparency is linked to the fundamental right of citizens to seek, receive and impart information (which are elements of the freedom of expression), as well as the right to take part in government and public affairs. To this end, we were not surprised when this case was taken to court because we have a very strong faith in the judiciary”.
“It is lamentable that the accused in this case is a learned professor who is supposed to be a very respectable person in the society who have been found worthy in learning and character but betrayed the trust reposed in him by the state. How can he mentor the young ones who look up to him for guidance? Little wonder then, why our educational system continues to produce half baked graduates when those who were supposed to teach them are engrossed in questionable and corrupt activities. Manipulation of election results had been with us since independence and it has robbed the nation of selfless leaders who were supposed to represent their constituency and have the backing of the people in their constituencies”.
The CACOL Chair added, “We insist that, it is not only criminal and condemnable to betray the public trust that has placed such civil servant in a position of authority and control after much training, to simply betray such confidence reposed in him by manipulating election results for his personal gains without considerations of the remote and immediate consequences of his action on innocent electorates and the larger society such illicit actions may ultimately rob of desired effects. We want to commend INEC for the diligent prosecution of this case and the Judiciary for the landmark judgment. We want to believe that this case will not be a flash in the pan and other cases of electoral frauds will also be judiciously prosecuted and the culprits made to face the consequence of their acts as a just supper”.
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has hailed the arrest of a former Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor DibuOjerinde, by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly misappropriating 900 million Naira.
In a release issued by CACOL’s Director for Administration and Programmes, TolaOresanwo, on behalf of Mr. Debo Adeniran, the Chairman of the Centre, he stated, “It would be recalled that the former Registrar of JAMB Professor Ojerinde, who was arrested on 15th March 2021, in Abuja, by operatives of ICPC, is alleged to have committed multiple frauds while heading JAMB and the National Examination Council (NECO). It was reported that Professor Ojerinde has been detained by the Commission for questioning over allegations of multiple identities, abuse of office, money laundering, tax evasion, and making false statements to public officials. The former JAMB boss is also being questioned by the Commission for allegedly awarding fraudulent contracts to shell companies that cannot be traced”.
“It is on record that just last year the current management of JAMB announced that it has returned 3.5billion Naira to the Federation Account from the excess generated from its operations during the conduct of 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) following the sales of ePINs to UTME candidates, bringing the total remittance that year by the board to 7billion Naira.What the former registrar couldn’t declare as surplus to the Government for 4years was declared within one year of the new Registrar. Professor Ojerinde should tell Nigerians why JAMB was unprofitable during his time”.
“We at CACOL, congratulate the ICPC for this bold move and we urge the staff of ICPC to carry out a thorough investigation of all the allegations leveled against the former registrar of JAMB followed by meticulous and diligent prosecution of this high-brow corruption case. This is a very laudable and cheering development, considering the multiplier and damaging effects of every strand of corruption case(s) on the psyche of our people especially the youth. It is even more devastating when the corrupt acts arecommitted by revered members of the academia who are supposed to be morally upright and serve as mentors that can be looked up to but unfortunately they have soiled their reputation by betraying the trust and confidence the country reposed in them cheaply by engaging in unethical and corrupt practices”.
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has given a pat on the back to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for mandating operators in the Nigerian financial system, particularly bankers to declare their assets as from June 1, 2021.
In a release, issued by CACOL on behalf of its Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran and signed by its Director, Administration and Programmes, TolaOresanwo, he stated, “We observed with keen interest the directives issued by EFCC to bankemployees in the country to declare their assets by June 1, 2021. EFCC Chairman, Mr. AbdulrasheedBawa, was quoted as saying ‘We understood that at the tail end of every financial crime is for the criminal to have access to the funds that he or she has illegitimately gotten and we’re worried about the roles of financial institutions. And we have discussed, but we hope that all financial institutions, particularly the bankers, will declare their assets as provided for by the law, in accordance with the Bank Employees Declaration of Assets Act 1986”.
“Just like most other critical sectors of Nigeria’s economy, our Banking system were so compromised and despoiled to the extent that many of the senior cadre workers in the sector were looting and engaging in ludicrous speculative and dubious transactions for personal enrichment at the risk of ordinary depositors’ money. Whereas, in saner climes, the banking industry is pivotal in transforming the domestic economy and migrate it from subsistence to tertiary and advanced productivity by studying, underwriting and financing such advanced migration, what do we find here? Our banking gurus simply collect depositors’ funds, running into billions and use it to advance their individual and group’s business interests without recourse to laid-down procedures. For so many decades, this been the practice of most within the banking industry, hence, the need to check the excesses of these bank employees.”
“We at CACOL, therefore, congratulate the EFCC for issuing this directive. We believe there is an urgent need for a means to check illicit financial flows especially when it is carried out in connivance with employees of financial houses. Declaration of assets by bank employees would among other benefits stem the tide of accumulating illicit wealth within a very short time, betraying the trust of both their customers and employers and engaging in unethical practices that do not conform to international banking best practices”.
The CACOL Boss added, “We believe that for Nigeria to be reasonably ridded of this menace or ogre of corruption especially those perpetrated with the connivance of bank’s staff, declaration of assets is a welcome development. This is why we hail the decision of the EFCC to enforce the provisions of the Bank Employees Declaration of Assets Act. We concur with the opinion of the Chairman of EFCC that the directive is part of measures to sanitize the nation’s financial system and block some of the loopholes currently being exploited by unscrupulous players in the sector to undermine the economy through money laundering and illicit financial flows.
Director, Finance, Administration and Programmes, CACOL .
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, hashailed The Supreme Court ruling upholding the 10-year imprisonment of former Plateau State Governor Joshua Dariye upon his conviction for criminal breach of trust.
In a press release issued by the anti-graft coalition’s Director for Administration and Programmes, TolaOresanwo on behalf of its Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, he noted, “In his appeal, Dariye prayed the Supreme Court to upturn the November 16, 2018 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, which convicted him and sentenced him to 10 years for diverting public funds estimated at N1.162billion while he was the governor. A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal, led by Justice Stephen Adah, in its decision, upheld an earlier judgment by Justice AdebukolaBanjoko of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), delivered on June 12, 2018. The trial court convicted Dariye on 15 counts relating to the offences of criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation contained in the 23-count charge on which he was tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In upholding Dariye’s conviction, the Court of Appeal noted that the prosecution, led by Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), effectively proved its allegation of criminal breach of trust and criminal misappropriation against the ex-governor. The Appeal Court proceeded to reduce the 14-year sentence for the offence of criminal breach of trust to 10 years and reduced the two years sentence for criminal misappropriation to one year.
The Supreme Court, however, upheld Dariye’s concurrent conviction and sentence by the trial court and the Court of Appeal on the offence of criminal breach of trust. It proceeded to quash his conviction and sentence in relation to the offence of criminal misappropriation.
“We at CACOL, received the news of the Supreme Court verdict on Dariyewith great delight. It is very interesting to note how he pursued justice for his case from the lower courts to the highest court in the land. Though, he got respite for the offence of criminal misappropriation leveled against him, the Court did not disappoint millions of Nigerians whose resources are being looted and who are subjected to abysmal state of deprivations and poverty by upholding the 10-years imprisonment for the offence of criminal breach of trust”.
The anti-corruption Crusader said “We want to commend the judiciary for taking this bold step. We have been at the forefront of naming, shaming and criticizing the corrupt tendencies of some of our political office holders and it gladdens the heart to see some of these wicked public officials being punished for their wicked acts while in office”.
The CACOL’S Chairman added “In recent times, we have seen public office holders after siphoning the commonwealth of the citizens of this country running into billions to advance their individual and group’s business interests without recourse to laid-down procedures and thereafter be running from pillar to post in order to evade arrest and the attendant judicial prosecution. This is why we commend the decision of the Supreme Court for this landmark judgmentand call on all the Anti-graft agencies to continue to investigate and prosecute other public office holders who arestill enjoying their freedom and spending their loots. We have always opined that culprits of official corruption need to be deprived of their evil accumulations, wherever and whenever they are found out, and made to face the consequence of their acts as just deserts”.
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has hailed the repatriation of £4.2 million loot recovered from friends, associates and family members of former Delta State Governor, James Onanefe Ibori from United Kingdom and enjoined the Federal Government of Nigeria, under President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure judicious use of the funds in areas that could revive the near comatose economy of the country.
In a release issued by the Centre on behalf of its Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran and signed by CACOL’s Director of Administration and Programmes, Tola Oresanwo, he stated, “We received the news that the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms. Catriona Laing, said the money would be returned to Nigeria in batches. She said £4.2 million would be returned to Nigeria in the first batch. Laing spoke at a ceremony for the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between both countries in Abuja. She disclosed that the £4.2 million was recovered from Ibori’s friends, associates and family members. According to her the case of Ibori was complicated, saying that the UK government was still working on it to ascertain how much was really involved. She said with time, more funds stolen by Ibori would be repatriated to Nigeria”.
“It is noteworthy that James Ibori was convicted in the UK for money laundering and jailed. On 27 February 2012, he was charged with stealing US$250 million from the Delta state treasury. The former governor pleaded guilty to ten counts of money laundering and conspiracy to defraud at Southwark Crown Court, London. Incidentally, nothing tangible could be said to have happened to the people of this country even with all the looted funds being recovered or repatriated from both within and outside the country since the advent of the civil rule and even under the current dispensation as the country continues to run a mono-cultural economy with the prices of foodstuff and other basic needs skyrocketing and gradually rising beyond the reach of an average citizen”.
“Although, Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who signed for the country, said President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the returned loot be deployed to completion of the second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan and the Abuja to Kano expressway projects. The level of retooling of such repatriated funds became so worrisome and a cause for regrets that THE US government was reported to have insisted that Nigeria should be ready to ‘replace’ the over USD300m it returned if the fund was misused. This is so as previously repatriated funds continue to develop wings and find their ways into private pockets while the country laments its collective woes”.
“We therefore, lend our voice in requesting for the judicious use of this huge capital, both on social provisions of amenities that could ameliorate the unsuitable conditions of majority of Nigerians that have been so far, worsened by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, and in enhancing certain capital projects that should have a positive roll-over on the national economy and infrastructure on the long run. We also pledge our commitment and readiness in providing monitoring and oversight roles towards assisting government in achieving openness and accountability at the end of utilization of the latest repatriated funds.”
The CACOL Boss added, “In as much as we welcome the repatriation of this loot, we want to call on the government to device means whereby stealing of public funds will be more difficult and very easy to expose. The fight against corruption should be intensified and those that have been found culpable should be prosecuted and be made to face the full wrath of the law so as to serve as deterrent to others. The whistle blowing policy should be reinvigorated. There should be more synergy with foreign financial institutions and investigators so that if any money is looted from the home front, it will not take eternity before the evil act is exposed”.
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has called on anti-corruption agencies for necessary investigation of the sources of the sum of $2m and N17m allegedly stolen from the palace of the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu.
In a release issued by CACOL and signed by Tola Oresanwo, the anti-corruption organization’s Director of Administration and Programmes, on behalf of its Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, he stated, “It would be recalled that the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu had said the sum of $2 million and N17 million were stolen when youths attacked his palace on October 21, 2020 in the violence that erupted after the #EndSARS protests. The Monarch was quoted as saying, “I will support anything that will move Lagos forward. I have appealed to the Federal Government to assist Lagos with what we have suffered. The incident that happened here from October 20th to 23rd is so saddening. The destruction we suffered in Lagos is so enormous than in any other part of the country. Many buildings were burnt, including vehicles used to generate income. I can now say publicly that they stole $2 million and N17 million from my palace”.
“We heard the news and we were aghast that the Oba of Lagos can have such humongous amount of money right in his palace. The question is where exactly is the source of that money, which business is he doing that generated that amount of money for him? Is the Oba of Lagos operating a Bureau De Change in his palace? Has the palace of the Oba turned to a financial institution of some sort? Is this not violation of some existing laws? Is this not money laundering?”
“We were even more surprised that the Oba of Lagos has the audacity to publicly come out with that amount as what was stolen from his palace. It is a widely known fact that many people were impoverished as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sustaining their daily livelihoods became difficult for many families and households, which is why we found it difficult to believe that a monarch who is supposed to be the custodian of the culture of the people will be in custody of such huge sums of money both in local and foreign currencies when the people living in his domain are living in abject poverty.
The anti-graft czar added, “Considering the strategic and critical role of traditional institutions in our society, we are seriously concerned about the enormity of flagrance abuse of their offices and display of opulence that recently characterized our traditional institutions. We therefore call on Anti-corruption Agencies to swing into action and immediately investigate the claim by the Oba of Lagos. He should be quizzed to determine the source of the money allegedly carted away by hoodlums during the #Endsars protest and why he kept the money in his palace.
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has thrown its weight behind Federal Government’s resolve to investigate employment fraud that is prevalent in some Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
In a press release issued by the organization’s Director of Administration and Programmes, Tola Oresanwo on behalf of Mr. Debo Adeniran, CACOL’s Chairman, he noted, “It would be recalled that the federal government, Monday, inaugurated a committee on enrolment of newly recruited civil servants on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), to checkmate employment irregularities perpetrated by officers in Ministries, Departments and Agencies, (MDAs). Inaugurating the committee, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan bemoaned incidences of sharp practices, noting that a large number of fake appointment letters were being discovered in some Ministries, which if not properly addressed, would lead to the denial of employment to a great number of prospective and eligible law-abiding job seekers in the country.
The Committee’s Terms of Reference include:
i. identifying the challenges associated with the old process to guide the new process
ii. examining the new processes of enrolling newly recruited officers on the IPPIS platform
iii. identifying the benefits derivable from the new process including cost-saving, where possible
iv. initiating the process of enrolling new employees on the IPPIS platform guided by the new procedure
v. ensuring that the enrolment of new employees on IPPIS is based on the approved waivers from the OHCSF
vi. treating and capturing all backlogs of newly recruited officers based on the new procedure, subject to authentication of appointment letters, approved waivers, financial clearance and Federal Character Commission Compliance Certificate, where applicable.
vii. recommending appropriate sanctions on defaulting MDAs and individuals identified to have abused, breached or manipulated the process
viii. ensuring no further enrolment of newly recruited officers on the IPPIS platform is done without the approval of the committee
ix. identifying and removing all officers illegally enrolled on the IPPIS platform including savings made, where possible
x. Submitting monthly report on the number of staff captured or suspended on the IPPIS platform.
According to the CACOL’s boss, “This attitude of giving questionable employment to undeserving citizens of the country in different MDAs predates the Buhari’s Administration and it remains an ill-wind blowing nobody any good. We had expected all this rubbish to end with the last administration since this government is that of a change from all that is wrong with governance in this country before now. But it is regrettable that the situation is still the same till now. Employment in different MDAs in the country has become the highest bidder takes it all. It has degenerated to a situation where you have to buy your way into the federal civil service”.
“We have heard cases whereby job-seekers pay huge sums of money to secure employment in some MDAs. This calls for a serious concern for any government who is determined to fight impunity and corruption. The greatest danger of this nefarious act is not only that the children of the poor cannot afford this exorbitant ‘bazaar employment offer’ but the fact that merit is thrown overboard and the principle of Federal Character is never considered in the bogus recruitment, selection and placement process is why it calls for serious concern for all well meaning Nigerians”.
The CACOL Head adds, “We are particularly happy that the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, OHCSF is already collaborating with security agencies to investigate and bring to book those behind the nefarious and shameful practices. We hope the committee will carry out the assignment with all sense of responsibility and without fear or favour with a view to achieving the civil service that would be the pride of all. In our own view, it is imperative that the OHCSF should not take this issue with levity and proceed with its investigation with the aim of bringing to book all the people that have been characterized with this kind of illicit employment exercise. They should all be prosecuted in a competent court of law so as to serve as deterrent to others”.