N594bn Loot: Buhari Group Urges ICPC to Prosecute Civil Servants

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has urged the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) to prosecute 400 public servants alleged to be involved in the latest recovery of N594 billion made by the agency.

The group said in a statement issued Wednesday and signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju, and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, that it was instructive that the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) revealed that the fraudulent acts were perpetrated by a tiny clique in the civil service.

“We urge the ICPC to ensure that all public officials found involved in corrupt acts that led to the recoveries are prosecuted in order to send a clear signal to others who may be thinking of doing same,” it said.

BMO said it was unimaginable that an amount, which was more than the annual budget of several states combined was taken from the public coffers by different categories of people without a thought for the larger national interest.

According to the group, it is even more surprising that about 400 public servants who are still in active service were part of what could be described as brigandage against the Nation.

“This is aside the 1200 others whom, according to ICPC officials, were conniving with microfinance banks to short-change the system between 2016 and 2018.

“All these show the magnitude of corrupt practices in the public service and how, in spite of the zero-tolerance of the administration to corruption, some people are still bent on circumventing government policies for personal gains,” it
said.

BMO also said that the previous revelation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) linking 32 entities to the theft of N1.3 trillion in four years prior to 2015 had not fully sank in before the ICPC came out with details of the recovery of more than half a trillion naira from a group of retired and serving civil servants.

While rallying support for the government’s anti corruption crusade, BMO urged Nigerians especially civil servants to take advantage of the whistle blower policy of the Buhari administration to provide information that would lead to more recoveries of looted funds.

“We are also not unmindful of the possibility that some members of this tiny minority of public servants who want a return to the status quo are still in the system. These individuals who are used to living beyond their means may also have continued to be involved in unwholesome practices to fund their extravagant lifestyle.

“So our appeal is to the conscientious ones among them to cash in on the whistle blower policy and provide useful information to the authorities,” it said.