Latest Politics Top Stories

Head of federal service Oyo-Ita hospitalized after grilling by EFCC over N3bn scam

Head of federal service Oyo-Ita hospitalized after grilling by EFCC over N3bn scam

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, was on Wednesday hospitalized after she was grilled by the men of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), over an alleged N3billion contract scam.

The grilling also bothered on another offense related to alleged abuse of duty tour allowance, money laundering and stealing of government funds.

It was gathered that the HoS landed in a hospital after she was granted administrative bail.

She has now been restricted access to visitors at the private hospital in Jabi area of Abuja where she is receiving treatment.

Although the administrative bail was granted so that she could be reporting for further interrogation from her office, she has not been able to return to the anti-corruption agency’s office since she was allowed to go.

It was gathered that about N600million has allegedly been traced to the account of one of her key aides who has been unable to give any justifiable explanation for it.

Due to this, EFCC has blocked the account and also initiated the process of obtaining an interim forfeiture clause to seize the cash.

It was also learnt that preliminary findings confirmed that about N3 billion had been allegedly traced to the Head of Service which came in through proxy companies.

Detectives, it was gathered, uncovered slush funds linked to the Head of Service while probing the activities of a former Minister under who she served as Permanent Secretary.

A source with access to the matter alleged, that: “Preliminary investigation confirmed that she used different fronts or cronies to obtain contracts from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Read also: It’s official! Buhari announces suspension of Obono-Obla

“While tracing embezzlement by the ex-Minister, detectives stumbled on diversion of funds into proxy companies which the Head of Service has relationship with.

“The startling revelations made detectives to dig further into her activities as a Permanent Secretary and Head of Service.

“There were proofs of how she secured contracts through proxy firms from some ministries including Special Duties, Power, Works and others. There was a case of abuse of office because there was evidence of pressure on Permanent Secretaries to get her contracts. She moved from one ministry to the other.

“Investigators also discovered that she was involved in falsification of Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) and estacodes.”

The source added: “About N600million has been traced to the account of one of her aides. This illicit account has been blocked and the EFCC is in the process of invoking interim forfeiture clause.”

Sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004 empower the anti-graft agency to apply Interim Assets Forfeiture Clause.

“Section 28 of the EFCC Act reads: “Where a person is arrested for an offence under this Act, the Commission shall immediately trace and attach all the assets and properties of the person acquired as a result of such economic or financial crime and shall thereafter cause to be obtained an interim attachment order from the court.”

Another source said: ”We have only covered a fraction of the preliminary findings, she will still have to return after completing her treatment.”

But there was a pall of silence in government circle because of the sensitive nature of the EFCC’s findings.

Ripples Nigeria

We are an online newspaper, very passionate about Nigerian politics, business and their leaders. We dig deeper, without borders and without fears.
www.ripplesnigeria.com

Join the conversation

Opinions

About the author

Ripples Nigeria

We are an online newspaper, very passionate about Nigerian politics, business and their leaders. We dig deeper, without borders and without fears.
www.ripplesnigeria.com

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!