Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has uncovered N12 billion padded into the salaries of some Ministries Agencies and Departments (MDAs).
Chairman of the ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, said at a press conference in Abuja that about N9.2 billion was first restrained after the ICPC discovered that monies meant for salaries were over-budgeted while another N3 billion was uncovered after salaries were paid to workers.
The ICPC boss, who did not mention the names of the MDAs indicted, said the ICPC had after tracing the funds stopped them from accessing them.
He said 59 directors were recently arrested for using their accounts to move over N3billion from government coffers.
He said the funds were moved to their individual accounts without proper explanation prompting the agency to step in, and arrest them.
The anti-graft agency subsequently recovered the funds and released the civil servants on bail, while investigation continued.
Speaking on constituency projects, Owasanoye said over 400 projects were evaluated in the first phase of the exercise while 317 companies were profiled due to their activities with the projects concerned.
The ICPC chairman said due to the activities of the anti-graft agency, over 200 contractors were compelled to return to site to complete the abandoned projects.
He noted that the findings of the agency showed that some officials of some MDAs collaborated with lawmakers and contractors to commit crimes associated with constituency projects.
Responding to questions on why ICPC was yet to arrest indicted lawmakers, he said the objective of the exercise was to recover and ensure that the constituency projects in the affected communities were given to them and not necessarily to arrest or prosecute defaulters.
Owasanoye noted that some of the lawmakers and contractors who failed to key into the ICPC investigative strategy would be prosecuted.