BREAKING: ICPC Begins Investigation On Bashir Ahmad’s Multimillion-naira Federal Payroll Fraud
Bashir Ahmad, a new media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari, committed Federal payroll fraud, according to preliminary findings by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).
The anti-graft agency revealed on Monday afternoon that HEDA Resource Centre, a public-interest think tank founded by anti-corruption activist Lanre Suraju, had alerted the commission to Mr. Ahmad’s action.
“We received a complaint and we have commenced an investigation,” ICPC spokeswoman Azuka Ogugua told The Gazette by telephone. “Our investigation is preliminary at this stage in order to establish accuracy of the information we received and then we take it from there.”
Ms Ogugua did not immediately give a timeline of her agency’s investigation, but an anti-graft official familiar with the matter said Mr Ahmad would soon be invited for questioning about the fraud.
The HEDA’s petition was triggered by The Gazette’s report of August 15, 2022, which detailed how Mr Ahmad defrauded Nigerian taxpayers to the tune of millions after leaving office as a presidential media aide . Mr Ahmad had said he had resigned from office in May in order to seek the ruling party’s House of Reps ticket in his home Kano State.
Despite confirming his resignation by deemphasising his employment at the Nigerian presidency, Mr Ahmad continued receiving salaries through May, June and July, until he was exposed by The Gazette’s report. He received at least N3,129,530.64 in fraudulent basic earnings, with his allowances and estacodes within the same period likely many times the salaries.
Mr Ahmad, who was earlier this month reappointed by Mr Buhari after failing to qualify to stand in the upcoming parliamentary elections, told The Gazette he refunded the illicit payments in full to the federal coffers for the months he was not an official. But he failed to supply evidence of the reimbursement or clarify what actions he took after receiving the first, second and third salaries, as well as federal allowances and estacodes, despite being a private citizen.
Mr Buhari has not disclosed what he knew about Mr Ahmad’s theft, which appeared in line with his action of keeping silent whenever his aides are caught in corruption.
The ICPC said it was aware of Nigerians’ relentless demand for Mr Ahmad’s investigation and prosecution for stealing from the federal purse at a time of rising poverty and strikes by several public sector unions as a result of the government’s inability to meet its financial obligations.
2023 Election: What Happened To Dr Chinyere Igwe?
Dr. Chinyere Igwe, a member of the House of Representatives, was detained early on Friday morning along Ana Road in Port Harcourt, just a few days after gunmen allegedly attacked his radio and television stations.
Fidel Info reports that when verifying Igwe’s arrest, the police provided the entire amount he was arrested with as 498,100 USD and a list of the recipients of the funds.
Several properties were destroyed in a dynamite attack on the Atlantic Television Network and Wish FM 99.5, which were housed in the same building in Ozuoba, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Igwe was apprehended by operatives sent to the Independent National Electoral Commission office on Aba Road in Port Harcourt, according to the State Police Command’s Grace Iringe-Koko.
Iringe-Koko reported that the lawmaker will be promptly questioned and charged after being arrested by AIG Abutu Yaro, the assistant inspector general of police sent to the state for the elections.
Igwe, who sits in the green chamber of the National Assembly as Port Harcourt Federal Constituency 2’s representative, is an ardent supporter of the PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
The police statement read, “Police Officers from Rivers State Command deployed to INEC Headquarters Aba Road today 24/2/2023 at about 0245hrs, while on stop and search, arrested one Hon Chinyere Igwe, member House of Representatives representing Port Harcourt II Federal Constituency with a cash sum of $498,100 USD inside a bag in his car.
“Also recovered was a list for distribution of the money. The Assistant Inspector General of Police (Election) AIG Abutu Yaro, has ordered swift interrogation and arraignment in court.
“The Command urges all contestants and political parties to comply strictly with provisions of the Electoral Act and other relevant laws.”
Iringe-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, urged residents of the state and members to take advantage of the hotlines made available by the police to report suspicious movements and situations capable of causing security breaches.
She stated, “Members of the public are encouraged to avail themselves of the available hotlines to report any observation they believe have potential to lead to crime or break down of law and order.”
Gunmen Attack Imo Community, Houses Of APC, LP Chairmen
The wife of Ugoeze Umugborogu, the traditional head of Amuro autonomous community in Okigwe Local Government Area of Imo State, was abducted by gunmen on Wednesday.
Fidel Info reports that along with abducting the monarch’s wife, the raging gunmen also set fire to the Amuro ward country mansions of the APC and Labour Party chairs.
Residents abandoned their homes in fear as a result of the development.
An eyewitness revealed that the attackers set the houses ablaze as soon as they arrived at the compounds.
The eyewitness said ” Ugoeze Umugborogu, the wife of the late king of Amuro autonomous community, has been kidnapped.
“After kidnapping the woman, they went to the house of the Labour Party chairman in Amuro ward, Ifediora Umugborogu and razed it. The man and his family were away when they struck.
“They equally razed the house of the APC chairman in the ward. This is going out of hand. The government should come to our rescue.”
Okigwe LGA has in the last few months become a hotbed for criminal activities.
Just on Tuesday, some gunmen razed five houses in Amagu Ihube community in Okigwe LGA which included the houses of the state commissioner for youths and sports, Emeka Okoronkwo, a former Dean of the Law Faculty of the Imo State University, Nnamdi Obiaraeri, a retired Director of State Security Service, Nnaemeka Ngwu and two others.
Gunmen had last week razed the country homes of the Labour Party House of Assembly candidate for Okigwe LGA, Nnaemeka Obiaraeri and that of the Director General of the candidate of the Labour Party Okigwe North House of Representatives election, Okey Unam.
Hoodlums Kill Three In Anambra Police Station Attack
Three individuals were killed instantaneously when thugs stormed the Anambra State Police Command in Ogidi, Idemili North Local Government Area.
Fidel Info reports that the thugs broke into the police station early on Saturday morning.
The hoodlums, who arrived in huge numbers, reportedly started firing randomly as they approached the police station, according to sources in the vicinity.
The sources also stated that they set fire to a portion of the police headquarters before entering by throwing explosives and gasoline bombs inside.
This attack on police installations in Anambra will be around the sixth in just February.
While confirming the occurrence, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga of the state police stated that the situation had been brought under control and that the Command was steadfast in its commitment to enhancing the safety of people and property in the state.
Ikenga grieved the murder of the police officers and urged restraint, noting that the police had increased security in the region to improve the protection of people and property in the state.
He said, “The Anambra State Police Command has reinforced security in the Idemili North area of the state, following the attack on the Ogidi area command in the early hours of Saturday, February 18, 2023, where three policemen paid the supreme price.”
“The hoodlums started shooting sporadically on approaching the area command and threw IEDs and petrol bombs, gaining entrance. Unfortunately, the buildings in the police facility were affected.”
“However, the command observes with grave concern the loss of lives and valuables as a result of this attack and calls for calm. The police are resolute in depriving these criminal elements of the space which they desire to perpetrate their evil acts.”
“Meanwhile, the incident is being assessed and police operations are still ongoing.”
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