The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has handed over 40 vehicles which it recovered from ex-officials of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that an ICPC official, Alhaji Bako Abdullahi, officially handed over the vehicles to Hajia Rabi Jimeta, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, on Wednesday in Abuja. Abdullahi, who represented the ICPC Chairman, Ekpo Nta, said that the recovered vehicles were dishonestly carted away by some retired officers of the ministry. “It is extremely sad that vehicles meant for the administrative and operational uses of the government establishment were dishonestly confiscated by some retiring senior public officers that included directors and deputy directors.
“However, the recovery is fulfilling because the commission has been alive to her law enforcement and prevention mandate in the fight against corruption,’’ Abdullahi said.
The vehicles, which were handed over to the ministry included 14 Hilux pick up vans, 14 jeeps, three Toyota Avensis and seven Toyota Corolla cars.
Others are one Toyota Camry and one Audi A6 cars.
Abdullahi said investigation had started on the confiscation of the vehicles, adding that those involved would soon be prosecuted.
Jimeta, who received the vehicles on behalf of the Minister of Water Resources, commended ICPC for the laudable recovery. She disclosed that the vehicles were not boarded for the officials but they decided to go away with the vehicles after their retirement. Jimeta said the affected officials acted with impunity, adding that their action negated government rules and regulations.
“Don’t take government or public properties away with impunity; it is an act of irresponsibility and indiscipline,’’ she said.
Jimeta said that the lack of operational vehicles has been one of the major factors militating against the service delivery of the ministry. She said that the recovered vehicles would enable the ministry to function effectively, particularly in the remote areas. Frank Nanakumo, ICPC’s Director of Assets Tracing, was the brain behind the recovery.
A source in the commission said, on condition of anonymity, that the vehicles’ retrieval was as a result of anonymous petitions. The source said that that some of the affected directors and deputy directors retired from service over eight years ago, while others retired recently. He said that ICPC would also beam its searchlight on other ministries so as to provoke such recoveries.