June 16, 2021

Reps probe Police over ‘missing’ $7.5m recovered loot

US security advisory

Inspector-General of Police Usman Alkali Baba

*Demand details on N360m Rivers’ polls bribery funds

By Tordue Salem, ABUJA

The House of Representatives, Tuesday, ordered the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, to disclose the whereabouts of the sum of $7.5million, being a part of  the N37.5million recovered by the security agency in 2017 as proceeds of crimes.

Besides, the House panel also demanded for details on a N360 million recovered as bribery from 26 Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, officials who conducted the 2019 governorship election in Rivers State.

The Police had, at an investigative hearing by an  ad hoc Committee of the House investigating the assessment and status of all recovered loots, movable and immovable assets from 2002 to 2020 at the resumed hearing, admitted to a lodgment of only $30million in a Central Bank of Nigeria account, from the total proceeds, but however, failed to account for the balance of $7.5million.

The agency also failed to explain to the panel, led by  Adejoro Adeogun(APC-Ondo), how a document submitted before the committee claimed that on March 10, 2017, separate amounts of N4.198million,  N26,714,224.195 and  N3.85billion were lodged by the Police, but did not reflect in any account at the CBN.

Earlier, the House Committee had lambasted the representative of the Inspector General of Police,DIG D. O. Ogbunike

The lawmakers accused the police of a lack of recovery account to pay in proceeds of loots, with representative of the   Accountant General corroborating same.

The lawmakers said the attitude of the Police “gives the impression that police just pays tithes from recoveries.’’

Chairman of the committee, queried:  “ Does the Inspector General of Police give monthly returns on items recovered as proceeds from criminals?  From our findings, the Police system is too opaque. The system makes stealing easy; it does.’’

Vanguard News Nigeria