Osinbajo Drops Two ICPC Nominees over Alleged Fraud

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By Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja

Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, at the weekend dropped two of the 14 nominees into the Board of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) who are being investigated for alleged N1billion fraud by the same commission.

The nominees are Maimuna Aliyu and Sa’ad Alanamu.

Osinbajo had on Tuesday last week appointed Professor Bolaji Owasanoye as the new Chairman of ICPC and redeployed the former Chairman, Ekpo Nta, to the National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission. He also named 13 others as board members of the commission.

But four days after the appointments, there were reports that Aliyu and Alanamu were being investigated for alleged fraud which was believed would bring credibility crisis into the commission set up to fight such fraudulent acts.

Following the report, Senior Special Assistant to the acting President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, announced on his Twitter handle yesterday that in view of conflicting interest brought by the nominations of the two men into the board of the commission, the presidency had opted to cancel their appointments.

According to Akande, whereas allegations against the duo which had not been established via convictions in a law court shouldn’t ordinarily amount to their automatic disqualification, the government still had the responsibility to ensure that the right thing was done when weighty allegations were made.

“We are stepping down two of the new ICPC board nominees who have ongoing investigation issues with the commission as this presents a conflict.

“While existence of allegations or petitions against someone shouldn’t necessarily disqualify them from considerations for appointments, this case presents a peculiarity as we have confirmed that the agency in which they are to serve is indeed investigating the two of them.

“A basic check showed no court convictions against them. But when weighty petitions come up, this administration will always do the right thing,” Akande tweeted.

Owasanoye who was hitherto a member of the Presidential Committee on Anti-orruption headed by Professor Itse Sagay, will serve for a renewable term of five years while other members will serve for four years.

Other nominees into the board are: Dr. Grace N. Chinda, Okolo Titus M., Obiora Igwedebia, Mrs. Olubukola Balogun, Group Capt. Sam Ewang (rtd.), Justice Adamu Bello, Hannatu Mohammed and Abdullahi Maikano Saidu.

Also nominated are: Dr. Sa’ad Alanamu, Yahaya Umar Daud, Khamis Ahmed Mailantarki, Maimuna Aliyu and Prof. Musa Usman Abubakar as the board secretary.