ICPC Chairman, Mr. Ekpo Nta
By Dele Ogbodo
The Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta, has confirmed that the commission had commenced the probe of four governors for financial related offences which may not be unconnected to fraud and money laundering offences.
Nta, however, admitted that naming the governors and their states would jeopardise ongoing investigations.
In a signed statement, the Head of Media and Publicity of the anti-graft agency, Mr. Fola Olamiti, said the chairman made the disclosure in a Radio programme over the weekend in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The statement said: “It should be noted that those invited for questioning were still innocent until prima facie cases were made against them, so those who have no case to answer will be allowed to go home free men with their images intact.”
According to him, ICPC is up in arm with stakeholders to checkmate internet fraud in the country, adding that the commission’s effort in this regard had yielded positive result when four alleged big time ‘419’ fraudsters known as ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ boys were arrested in Owerri, Imo State in a joint operation between ICPC and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
The statement also disclosed that the alleged ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ boys had even gone a step further by setting up a school where they were teaching young minds on how to professionalise ‘419’ businesses in the country.
Nta said: “It had become a known fact that apart from internet fraud becoming a big time business, it had gone beyond ordinary to high technical, but assured Nigerians that the ICPC was ready to combat the menace.”
The ICPC Chairman in the statement also disclosed that he had proactively, since 2011- shortly after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced cashless transaction, sent some of the ICPC staff to Canada to be trained in forensic investigations, adding that he had gone into negotiations with Canada and United States of America Governments to give more opportunities to ICPC staff to be trained in that field.
Nta promised that there would no longer be a hiding place for the Yahoo Yahoo boys as he would deplore more internet technology experts to fish them out.