Bolaji Owasanoye, the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has said that a military chief stole N4 billion from Nigeria’s military budget and kept the money in the bank accounts of his two companies.
Owasanoye said this at the ICPC headquarters in Abuja on Friday.
The soldier used the stolen funds to buy properties in Abuja in the names of his proxies. Owasanoye also revealed that National Security Agency (NSA) and ICPC investigations on the issue of insecurity had shown that public sector corruption contributes to insecurity.
“Some former military and security personnel are being investigated by the ICPC and our sister agency (the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) for embezzlement of funds allocated to security,” Owasanoye noted.
“For example, a former head of one of the arms of the military, in the twilight of his tenure, deposited the sum of N4bn from military budget into the accounts of two companies where he is the beneficial owner and sole signatory.
“The proceeds were used to purchase properties in Abuja in the names of cronies and proxies. Some of the properties paid for by his service were also fraudulently converted to his use.
“ICPC’s prosecution of this high ranking officer to recover all the implicated assets was strangely and perversely frustrated by a recently retired High Court judge who decided to forfeit some of the assets to FGN and the rest left to the suspect.
“While the commission has filed a notice of appeal, this strange development aggravates an already bad situation and escalates insecurity and impunity.”
Owasanoye also said that ICPC was investigating many cases of job racketeering in Nigeria’s security sector.
According to the ICPC chairman, such cases of internal corruption are a major contributory factor to insecurity in Nigeria.
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