By Caleb Ayansina
ABUJA – The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has declared a staff of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Joseph Tony Ogah, wanted for defrauding the Federal Government to the tune of N36.2 million.
Ogah, an indigene of Idah, Kogi State, was part of a crime syndicate that defrauded the Federal Ministry of Environment.
The Commissioner, Public Enlightenment of the ICPC, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa confirmed to Vanguard that the suspect had absconded from his working place since July, when he got the wind that the commission was on his trail.
Okoduwa in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja had earlier maintained that “Preliminary findings by ICPC revealed that the syndicate used a company called Soft Alliance Disco, Limited to pay huge salary arrears totaling N36, 194, 636.00 to fictitious staff on the payment platform of the Ministry of Environment.
“Ogah, 38 years old, allegedly, in connivance with the others perpetrated and benefited from the fraud as N9.4 million was paid into his account with the United Bank for Africa (UBA).
“A statement of accounts obtained from UBA revealed that the money was drawn from the Ministry of Environment and paid into the account (1006521816) belonging to Ogah.
“The Commission, upon the findings requested Mr. Ogah to appear before it and answer questions regarding the transfer of money from another Ministry into his account, but he failed to do so.
“The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture was requested on several occasions through letters to compel him to appear before ICPC but responses to the letters show that Ogah has absconded from his duty post for over three months now.
“The Ministry, in response to the allegation and his failure to report to work, has stopped the payment of his salary and other entitlements since July 2015.
“Ogah is currently at large which has prompted the Commission to declare him wanted for fraud. Dark-complexioned Ogah’s last known address was Road 121, House 24, Gwarinpa Housing Estate, Abuja.”
Okoduwa explained that it was necessary to declare the suspect wanted for the general public to assist the government in apprehending him, adding that the commission is poised to rid the country of corruption.
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.