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ICPC obtains Court order for forfeiture of NDDC Director’s assets

CORRUPTION: Civil servant to forfeit properties worth N124.5m to govt

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission has requested the interim forfeiture of a petrol station and a warehouse belonging to a Director in the Niger Delta Development Commission, Solomon Okpa Ita.

A statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday by the spokesperson of the commission, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said the ICPC made the request in an ex-parte motion filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The commission accused the NDDC director of acquiring the property, which also included an event centre located in Calabar, the Cross River State capital with corrupt proceeds.

Okoduwa said, “The director was accused of using non-governmental organisations as fronts to embezzle government money, which could have been used to acquire the properties under contention. Investigation revealed that Solomon Ita, in one instance, facilitated the payment of N20m into the account of one of the NGOs which was then transferred to the Zenith bank account of a third party.

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“The third party, while acting on instructions from the director, was said to have transferred the same amount to one Ita Williams Okpa for onward handing over to the director. Another illegal transaction of N45m was made through the same channel for his personal use.”

Besides being accused of using NGOs to siphon funds from his employer, the ICPC said Ita was involved in the running of his private businesses while still a director with the NDDC.

“The commission noted that it was seeking the order of interim forfeiture of the properties to stop the director from using them to fund activities that might make the country unstable and ungovernable. Meanwhile, the final stock in the filling station at the point of seizure by ICPC has been sold off and proceeds remitted to the ICPC Recovery Account in Central Bank of Nigeria”, Okoduwa stated.

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