…Alleged to have blocked investigation on N109bn AGF loot
..As Senate orders CCB chair to appear Thursday
By Henry Umoru
Commissioners in the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, have accused the chairman, Professor Mohammed Isah, of compromising in the N109 billion fraud levelled against former Accountant-General of the Federation, Idris Ahmed.
The alleged corrupt practices being perpetrated by Isah was revealed to the Senate by all six federal commissioners running the anti-graft agency through petitions submitted to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, led by Senator Ayo Akinyelure (PDP, Ondo Central).
It would be recalled that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had arraigned former Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, and others over alleged N109 billion fraud.
The CCB commissioners, led by Dr Emmanuel Attah, had in the jointly signed petition, alleged that the embattled chairman had within the last four years, blocked required investigations on petitions against public officers with multi million and billion naira assets not stated in their assets declaration forms .
Following the allegations against the chairman, he was to appear before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions last Friday but was absent, while five of the six commissioners were present.
Not happy with the absence of the CCB chairman, against the backdrop that the allegations revolved round him, Akinyelure brainstormed with other members and it was agreed that the absentee chairman must appear before the committee unfailingly next Thursday.
Akinyelure said: “The petition before this committee on allegations against the chairman of Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, bordering on corrupt practices are worrisome and must be here to defend himself
“The seriousness of the matter lies on the fact that the petitioners are even the six federal commissioners appointed to be working with him in the fight against corruption.
“The commissioners are here but the chairman, who is in the eye of the storm, is not here. We have gone through all the issues raised in the jointly signed petition by the commissioners and they are very disturbing, if eventually proven.
“Therefore, for fair-hearing, we are re-inviting the chairman to appear before this committee on Thursday, October 6, 2022, unfailingly for required response or responses from him on all allegations levelled against him in the petition.”
Speaking to journalists after the adjourned session, one of the commissioners, Ehiozuwa Agbonayinma, with others who disclosed that they petitioned the chairman to save CCB from self-inflicted incapacitation slammed on it by the chairman, said all the commissioners and the chairman were appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to help in the war against corruption within the public service itself at all levels.
Agbonayinma said: “The chairman, based on his conducts, is not ready to fight the war in anyway, but sabotage it by sitting on series of petitions written against corrupt public officers whose assets far outweigh what were declared in the Assets Declaration Forms .
“The N109 billion loot linked to the now being investigated Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, was first reported to CCB through petitions but prevented from being acted upon by the chairman.
“ We are ever ready to support the president’s war against corruption but very disturbed by the frustration being thrown into it in CCB by no less a person than the chairman .
“We have written petition against him as declared by the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions here today and want him to meet us face to face before members of the committee for whatever defence he wants to make.”
Other Commissioners with him at the press interview include Professor Folorunsho Ogundare Elder Ubolo Okpanachi and Barrister Ben Nnana, among others.