Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The federal government has raised the alarm over a veiled attempt to rubbish its anti-corruption efforts by using con artistes to discredit the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC).
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammad, said in a statement yesterday that con people and their ilk, within and outside the country, were forging PACACâ€™s letter head, stamp as well as the signature of its Chairman, Prof. Itse Sagay.
It cited a particular instance where a letter purportedly signed by Sagay, entitled: â€˜Presidential Investigation on Outstanding Federal Government External Contract Debtsâ€™, and a form to be filled for that purpose, were being sent to unsuspecting persons to extort money from them and to portray the countryâ€™s highest advisory committee against corruption in bad light.
â€˜â€™For the avoidance of doubt, the president has not mandated PACAC to investigate and recommend for payment some outstanding contract debts as contained in the letter in question, neither has the federal government approved the disbursement of $850 million in the 2017 budget for payment of the so-called external contract debt.
â€˜â€™We are therefore using this medium to inform Nigerians and foreigners alike to disregard such letters,â€™â€™ Mohammed said.
He described Sagay, and all the members of his committee as men and women of proven integrity who will never allow the committee to be used for any activity that is not within its mandate or that is
capable of weakening the anti-corruption fight of government..