The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission has traced N292m to the account of one of the permanent secretaries that were retired on Tuesday, according to a report by The PUNCH newspaper.
It was gathered on Thursday that the ICPC made the discovery during the discreet investigations into the five months the permanent secretaries presided over ministries in the absence of ministers.
Anti-graft investigators were said to have commenced probe into the permanent secretaries’ reign shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari submitted the ministerial list to the Senate.
It was learnt that the investigators became curious upon discovery that the account of one of the permanent secretaries swelled up to N292m in the last five months.
It was learnt that three more permanent secretaries might also face trial for alleged corruption. There had been a report on Thursday that five former permanent secretaries would face trial for alleged corruption.
It was learnt that the ICPC’s investigations were not limited to permanent secretaries that were compulsorily retired on Tuesday but also those who served in the past five months and still in service.
Findings showed that the ICPC might invite some of the permanent secretaries for interrogation upon the completion of its investigation next week.
A source in the ICPC, who confided in one of our correspondents, said, “It is true that the ICPC is probing the activities of the permanent secretaries. About N292m was traced to the account of one of the recently retired permanent secretaries.
“The commission has concluded investigating some of the permanent secretaries while others are still being investigated. For those that we have concluded investigations on them, we have sent their files to relevant places for action.
“It is not exactly true that those who were not sacked by the President in the recent exercise are innocent. They are also being investigated.”
It was also learnt the ICPC had been investigating some directors and that the Federal Government had directed anti-graft agencies to place emphasis on recovery of funds from corrupt former public officers.
A Presidency source stated, “I can tell you that the focus of the government is changing. The President is more interested in recouping the stolen money.
“The President and his advisers are not unmindful of the fact that prosecution could take a long time. The President is more interested in recouping the money.
“What is happening is that the anti-graft agencies go for the facts, very strong facts that cannot be denied, confront the people with the evidence and ask them to return the funds if they don’t want to go to jail.
“And many of them are cooperating. I can tell you for sure that people are returning money.”
Story source: The Punch