One of the anti-graft agencies in the country, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, has traced the sum of N292m to the account of one of the federal permanent secretaries that were retired on Tuesday, The Punch reports.
The ICPC is said to have made the discovery in the course of a discreet investigations into the five months the permanent secretaries presided over ministries in the absence of ministers.
It was gathered that the probe into the permanent secretaries’ reign commenced shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari submitted the list of would-be ministers to the Senate.
The curiosity of the investigators was heightened following the discovery that one the accounts of a permanent secretary ballooned to N292m within the last five months.
Three more permanent secretaries are reported to likely face trial for alleged corruption as there had been a report on Thursday that five former permanent secretaries would face trial for alleged corruption.
It was learnt that the ICPC’s investigations were not limited to permanent secretaries that were compulsorily retired on Tuesday but also those who served in the past five months and still in service.
A source in the ICPC, who confided in the newspaper, stated that: “It is true that the ICPC is probing the activities of the permanent secretaries. About N292m was traced to the account of one of the recently retired permanent secretaries.
“The commission has concluded investigating some of the permanent secretaries while others are still being investigated. For those that we have concluded investigations on them, we have sent their files to relevant places for action.
“It is not exactly true that those who were not sacked by the President in the recent exercise are innocent. They are also being investigated.”
Findings by the same medium revealed that the ICPC might invite some of the permanent secretaries for interrogation upon the completion of its investigation next week.
It was also learnt that the ICPC had been investigating some directors and that the Federal Government had directed anti-graft agencies to place emphasis on recovery of funds from corrupt former public officers.
A source in the Presidency is reported to have said, “I can tell you that the focus of the government is changing. The President is more interested in recouping the stolen money.
“The President and his advisers are not unmindful of the fact that prosecution could take a long time. The President is more interested in recouping the money.
“What is happening is that the anti-graft agencies go for the facts, very strong facts that cannot be denied, confront the people with the evidence and ask them to return the funds if they don’t want to go to jail.
“And many of them are cooperating. I can tell you for sure that people are returning money.”