The Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Tribunal has commenced a clampdown on very wealthy civil servants.
Already, the agency has seized 24 property and several cars from three civil servants with one of them having 18 property.
A document obtained from the Office of the Chairman of the ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta, with the title ‘Notice of Seizure of Movable and Immovable Properties Pursuant to Section 45 (4) a – (b) of the Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Ac 2000, revealed that the commission seized the property from three officials of the Ministry of Niger Delta.
It stated that the property was seized because they were “excessive of the emoluments of the affected officers.”
Although the document, dated August 11, 2015, is silent on the status of the officials, it was gathered that the three officials are all principal account officers of the ministry, which has been one of the focuses of investigations by the ICPC in recent times.
The Niger Delta ministry officers listed in the document are Poloma Kabiru Nuhu, Mangset Longyl Dickson and Daniel Obah.
The ICPC boss said the decision to seize the property would be served on the appropriate Land Registries and Departments in all the states where the property are situated.
He stated, “The commission is investigating a matter involving some staff (members) of the Niger Delta Ministry, with certain movable and immovable property owned by the said staff.
“The commission is of the opinion based on the aforementioned investigation that these movable and immovable property owned by these people who are staff of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs are excessive, having regards to their present emoluments and all other relevant circumstances. The commission hereby notifies the entire public that all movable and immovable properties owned by these staff (members) and listed hereunder are seized.”
According to the ICPC boss, one of the officers, Nuhu, has 10 hectares of land, covered by Right of Occupancy at Kuje valued at N50m.
It was stated that the same officer has an uncompleted duplex at Diamond Estate, Apo, Abuja, that is worth N90m.
Nta also said Nuhu has 16 plots of land which are all covered by Certificate of Occupancy in different parts of Gwagwalada, Abuja.
Another civil servant on the ICPC list, Dickson, is said to have a plot of land at Kubwa District, Cadastral Zone, Abuja. The property is valued at N7m.
The third official, Obah, is said to own different plots of land in Abuja and Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Nta said Obah has a four-bedroom duplex at Karsana South District, Abuja, valued at N60m.
He is also said to have a plot of land at Ozuoba, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Other plots of land said to belong to Obah are located in Umuodili Odubo Community in Rivers that is worth N16.5m; Olipobo Rumuekini Layout, Obio Akpor Local Government Area valued at N18m and another plot at Livingstone Estate Umuogodo, Igbo Etche in Obio Akpor Local Government of the Rivers State.
The PUNCH had exclusively reported on July 30 that the Federal Government’s anti-corruption operatives had been sent after ‘super rich’ public officers who had multiple property and other assets suspected to have been the rewards of graft.
According to the report, the searchlight of the anti-corruption agents was on civil servants that possess questionable property in the Federal Capital Territory.
It was also reported that operatives in the Assets Tracing, Recovery and Management Unit of the ICPC had been asked to haul in suspects for interrogation and recovery of ill-gotten assets in their possession.
The ICPC was reported to have strengthened the ATRMU by posting more personnel to the unit to ensure the success of its campaign.
On Wednesday, the Auditor-General of the Federation, Mr. Samuel Ukura, had recommended the recovery of about N183bn being funds meant for the development of Niger Delta but which was allegedly diverted for other purposes.
Ukura, who stated this in three special audit reports to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Mr. Salisu Maikasuwa, explained that the amount was discovered in the periodic checks carried out by his office on the activities and programmes of the Niger Delta Development Commission between 2008 and 2012.
According to him, N70.4bn was paid as mobilisation to various contractors who never reported to site, while N90.4bn was the extra-budgetary expenditure for heads and sub-heads without approval by the legal authorities.
He also said N10bn was tax deductions without evidence of remittance to the Federal Inland Revenue Service; N5.8bn was payment to contractors for projects not executed, stalled or abandoned, while N1.2bn was undeducted taxes from contractors.
Ukura added that N3.1bn was transfer made to unauthorised accounts; N1.7bn was staff outstanding staff advances which were never accounted for and N785m out of N1.1bn meant for the supply of furniture to various schools in Delta State was diverted.
He explained that the funds for the furniture supply was certified paid whereas inspection carried out by the Auditor-General’s office revealed that no single chair was distributed during the period under review.