FG blocks withdrawal of  ‘questionable’ N142bn  from accounts of MDAs

Chairman of the Independent Corrupt  Practices and other related Offences Commission, ICPC, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye has revealed   that  about N142 billion  in various accounts of MDAs have been  placed under close watch and no withdrawal can be made from the fund. The implication is that the MDAs cannot spend the  ‘questionable’ money.

The ICPC chairman made the disclosure at an interactive session with   media executives and online publishers in Abuja on Tuesday.

Owasanoye said  the commission was able to track the extra funds through electronic monitoring of payments and transfers from salary accounts among others  by some MDAs. According to him, ICPC  issued the relevant alarm and the Ministry of Finance thereafter  placed the affected accounts under negative warrant where the  funds cannot be spent.

Furthermore, he said the Commission has recovered  close to N2billion in cash. He said that if the physical assets were  added, the amount recovered by the commission so far,  would be far more than this.

Speaking on the lingering debate over the proposed merger of anti-graft agencies, the ICPC boss  argued that there is a case for multiple ant-graft agencies in Nigeria. According to him,  the only  missing link  is coordination. He observed that aside from ICPC,  EFCC and CCB which many  observers have focused attention  on when discussing anti-corruption,  about 30 or so agencies  are relevant to corruption fight These other agencies  he said include BPP,NEITI,NAFDAC,NDLEA,CPC among others which have strong regulatory powers to check corruption. He specifically noted the fact that the police is  an essential player in the fight against graft.

Owasanoye  also debunked the  notion that the agency has avoided probing the military. According to the ICPC boss, petitions  about military issues have been received and  investigated appropriately.

Another  prominent   speaker at the roundtable  was  the DG NOA, Garba Abari, who outlined the efforts of the agency against all odds. He  said the NOA remains  very credible and relevant to grassroots mobilization. According to him, some global bodies prefer to work with NOA on people- oriented programmes.

The Spokesperson of ICPC,  Mrs Azuka Chinelo Ogugua,  also addressed the gathering  which was attended by other top officials of the commission. Also present at the event were  ICPC Board members  including  Dauda Yahaya and Hanatu Mohammed.

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