Adebiyi Adedapo in Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has extended its investigations and recovery of stolen funds to the Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS) commonly referred to as the Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
THISDAY gathered that senior officials of DTRS are being investigated by operatives at the national headquarters of the EFCC over an alleged conspiracy, stealing and diversion of public funds.
According to sources, the investigation which commenced in 2015 yielded shocking revelations, and affected officials have agreed to refund the allegedly stolen funds in order to shield them from trial and public ridicule.
Affected officials have since frequent the commission on monthly basis. Although the actual amount involved in the fraud could not be ascertained at the time to filing this report, affected officials agreed to pay back the looted funds into government coffers, with effect from December 2015.
EFCC had in a letter dated October 28, 2015, signed by the then Head of Economic Governance, Olufunke Adetayo-Ogunbode, invited the DTRS officials for questioning.
“The Commission is investigating a case of conspiracy, stealing and diversion of public funds in which the need to seek clarifications from your office became imperative. In view of the above, you are kindly requested to inform and release the above mentioned official to attend an interview with the undersigned through Mr. Michael Wetkas on Monday 2nd November 2015, at Block C, No 5 Formella Street, Off Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent , Wuse II, Abuja by 10:hours prompt.”
THSIDAY investigations revealed that officials of the directorate at different times allegedly diverted revenue accruable to the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) into personal use. The officials allegedly operated secret accounts, which were used to syphon funds.
THISDAY had reported that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC) a sister anti-graft agency, established fraudulent acts against the FCT-VIO in a comprehensive system study report of the processes and procedures of the directorate between 2010-2012.
The study revealed that within a three-year period, the directorate attained a non-complaint compliance level of approximately 35.4 per cent on the performance scale, which portends that corruption vulnerability requires urgent attention by the ICPC and FCT authorities to make the Directorate functional.
According to the report exclusively obtained by THISDAY, ICPC discovered cumulated unremitted revenue of N997.8 million within the three years period. The report also stated that there was no evidence of consolidated account of the directorate, and re-imbursements for advances were done at intervals without proper retirements of previous cash advances, adding that evidence of refund of unspent balance of personnel fund and capital funds could not be verified.