By Lucie-ann Laha, HEAD, MEDIA & COMMUNICATIONS
ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE SPECIAL INVESTIGATION PANEL FOR THE RECOVERY OF PUBLIC PROPERTY.
In its resolve to give credence to Government’s determination to curb corruption in Nigeria, the Obono-Obla led Panel has recorded remarkable milestones in the three months of its constitution.
The Panel with the mandate to recover fraudulently acquired assets from public and private persons is currently investigating many individuals perceived to have misappropriated public assets.
Notable among these is the recent recovery of a quarry, 4 houses and 86 luxury vehicles in Abuja, from one Ibrahim Tumsah, Director of Finance and Accounts, Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.
It is noteworthy that 23 of the vehicles appear to be bulletproof. Evidence of due certification from the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) required for the acquisition of bullet proof vehicles is being investigated.
Furthermore, intelligence findings indicates that the recovered property is just a tip of the ice berg, as Tumsah is suspected to have been acquiring wealth at the expense of Government over a long period of time, having worked as a Finance Officer in Borno State and the Federal Public Service, following his transfer of service.
Tumsah has reportedly handled many ‘juicy’ assignments including superintending over Government Projects funded by international donor agencies from which he may have abused public trust.
The Panel has also recovered millions of Naira from some Government agencies and is again investigating several other leads on perceived acts of fraudulent acquisition by public officers in some government agencies.
In a related development, the Panel is investigating the non-execution of the Calabar Channel, long after payment of about 70% of the contract sum has being made.
The Panel has also reached out to some international agencies for collaboration in the areas of asset recovery, capacity building and technical assistance with a view to enhancing the effectiveness of the Panel and adding impetus to the anti-corruption war of the Buhari-led APC Government.