ICPC begins prosecution of former Governors over financial crimes

According to reports reaching ADELOVE, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission will soon begin the prosecution of some former governors for various financial crimes, it has been gathered.

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“In a couple of weeks from now, you will be hearing about how the ex-governors will be charged to court,” a top official of the anti-graft agency said on Saturday.

The source, who declined to name and give the number of ex-governors affected as their investigation had yet to be concluded, said the commission had been investigating the ex-governors underground, while the investigations have reached the final stage.

The official said, “Many people will be surprised when ICPC begins to drag suspects to court. Our investigative teams are in the South-South, North-East and the North-West. Leaking the name of the affected states will allow the suspects to be prepared for their prosecution.

“Remember that ICPC deployed its operatives in some states last year. The second phase now is the forensic aspect of our investigation of the ex-governors. The forensic investigation is to determine the level of their culpability in the allegation of misappropriation of funds against them.

“We don’t want to conclude our investigations first before announcing the allegations against them and their prosecution. We go into forensic analysis to be able to identify how much a governor misappropriated while in office.”

According to the source, the ICPC will look for witnesses who will give meaningful information against the suspects in court.

“By the time the suspect will be arraigned, all the facts and figures will already be in place so that it will be difficult for the defendant to raise objections to most of the charges. All the invoices used and how funds were wired and the bank officials will be available for prosecution,” the source added.

The ICPC had, on January 21, arraigned former Governor of Zamfara State, Sani Yerima, before a Gusau High Court over an allegation that he misapplied over N1bn while in office in 2006.

Also charged with Yerima were Alhaji Hashim Dikko, and two companies – Development Management Ltd. and HAD Nigeria Limited.

When contacted, the Resident Consultant, Media Events, ICPC, Mr. Folu Olamiti, said he could not confirm the information as he had not been briefed about the plan to prosecute some ex-governors soon.

He, however, said the commission had always responded to petitions against corrupt persons.

Olamiti added that the Chairman of the ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta, had trained about 95 per cent of the commission’s operatives around the world in forensic and other investigative specialities.

“We don’t make use of policemen anymore in our operations. We now have hardcore investigators trained in Vienna, France, Hong Kong, Switzerland and the United States of America,” he said.


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