Fourteen beneficiaries of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) job racketeering have confirmed to the House of Representatives committee investigating job racketeering that they have not been working.
According to them, they have been receiving their salaries without job placements.
The beneficiaries on Monday said that their salaries were paid on the platform of the Nigerian government’s Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS), and into a bank account belonging to the former FCC’s IPPIS Desk Officer, Haruna Kolo and Chief of Protocol to the FCC Chairman, Farida Dankaka, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
One of the 14 beneficiaries, Gbadamosi Jalo, told the House of Representatives committee that Kolo took him to the IPPIS office and registered him on its portal.
He said he had been receiving salaries since then.
According to him, he had not been assigned to any government ministry, department or agency, though he received an appointment letter supposedly issued by the National Institute of Oceanography.
Jalo told the lawmakers that he paid some money to Kolo to get the consideration and that Kolo told him that the money he paid was received on behalf of the FCC chairperson.
He further revealed that one Gambo Yisha’u, driver of the Commissioner representing Taraba at the FCC also confirmed to him that such money would later be paid to Mrs Dankaka.
Twelve other witnesses made similar submissions, alleging that they paid money to Mr Kolo, but had not been posted to any ministry, department or agency of government.
In his testimony, a potential beneficiary of the racket, Musa Ibrahim, said he paid some money to one Abdullahi Azareh, who acted as the linkman to the FCC commissioner representing Nasarawa State.
Ibrahim told the House Committee that though the police in Nasarawa State arrested Azareh after a barrage of complaints and petitions, he was released upon intervention by FCC commissioners.
He was quoted as saying, “We are victims of circumstances; the guy was arrested and detained for few hours because he was working with the commissioner representing Nasarawa State at the FCC.’’
The Chairman of the House Committee, Yusuf Gagdi, earlier said that the witnesses were invited after the committee got to know about their statements of account and payment to Kolo.
Gagdi said that while the committee was not a prosecuting agency, it would get to the root of the matter and recommend appropriate sanctions.
Berating IPPIS for its porosity, Gagdi said, “If Kolo was finding it easy to go to IPPIS to register payees without the knowledge of authorising officers, the IPPIS needs to answer a lot of questions.”
The House Committee Chairman assured that the committee would scrutinise the bank accounts of all FCC commissioners and the accounts of those serving as their go-between.