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01.12.2023 Featured After FIJ’s Story, ICPC Invites FRIN Staff Who Acquired Undervalued Gov’t Vehicles

Published 1st Dec, 2023

By Sodeeq Atanda

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has invited for questioning some staff of the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN).

The invitation followed FIJ’s publication detailing how the affected staff diverted some government assets.

FIJ had reported that Professor Shola Adepoju, the last director-general of the institute, and some staff members undervalued exotic cars belonging to the institute and acquired them.

An invitation letter dated November 24, addressed to the director-general of FRIN and sighted by FIJ, was signed by Lucky Erewa, Resident Anti-Corruption Commissioner for ICPC Oyo/Ogun.

READ ALSO: EXCLUSIVE: How Ex-FRIN DG Shola Adepoju Sold Government’s Vehicles to Himself and Colleagues

Michael Olufemi, FRIN’s human resource director; and Alhassan Gambo, a former head of the Abuja liaison office of the institute, were the staff members invited.

“The Commission is investigating a case that borders on an alleged violation of the provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 5, 2000, and it has become necessary to have a recourse to your office,” the letter, with reference number ICPC/OY/ST/191/2023, read in part.

“In view of the above and pursuant to Section 28 of the said Act, you are requested to release Mr. Michael Olufemi and Mr. Alhassan Gambo to come for an interview before the undersigned on Tuesday, 28th November, 2023, at the ICPC Oyo State office, opposite Aerodrome GRA, Old Airport Road, Samonda, Ibadan, by 10;00 am.”

A source within the agency, who chose not to be named, told FIJ on Friday that Olufemi was at the ICPC office on Tuesday, November 28, but they were unsure if Gambo had honoured the invitation even though the current DG directed him to do so.

In early October, FIJ reported that Adepoju’s tenure as DG ended in March. Before he left office, he supervised the illegal auction of some vehicles at ridiculous prices.

Adepoju, Olufemi and Gambo benefitted from the auction. Among other assets, Adepoju acquired a Toyota Prado, originally purchased at N78 million in 2019, for N7 million.

Another Toyota Prado acquired in 2013 at N21 million was sold for N800,000.

READ ALSO: Healthcare Professionals Shut Down Communication Minister’s Telemedicine Initiative

Similarly, the institute bought a Toyota Hilux in 2018 at N18 million but sold it for N1 million during the auction.

Some other assets were auctioned in clear violation of the procurement law and civil service rules.

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Published 1st Dec, 2023

By Sodeeq Atanda

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