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Why Social Investment Programme officials were arrested in Kogi

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Two officials of the National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP) in Kogi State have been arrested by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over an alleged N68 million fraud.

ICPC spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, made this known in a statement on Sunday, adding that the arrest was made in collaboration with the National Social Investment Office.

The suspects are Khadijat Karibo, the state programme manager for the national home-grown school feeding programme and Adoga Ibrahim, a former focal person for the programme in the state.

Okoduwa stated that the commission received a petition which alleged that the two officials were involved in diversion of funds meant for the school feeding programme in Kogi.

The statement read: “A petition alleging that the erstwhile State Focal Person and the Programme Manager had connived and diverted large sums of money meant for payments to cooks in the national school feeding programme in Kogi State was received by ICPC,”

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“The petition alleged that the duo had perpetrated unlawful and unethical deductions from the accounts of cooks by the use of letters purportedly signed by them conveying their consent that a blanket and unspecified amount be moved to 10 different business accounts from the cooks’ accounts for sundry aggregated commodity supplies.”

Okoduwa said an approval, which ought to have been granted for some items was missing, adding that the officials could not provide evidence.

“The petition further alleged that the massive fraudulent actions were pulled off by the officials acting in concert with some banks in the state. Preliminary findings from ICPC investigations indicate that for the programme to aggregate food items, the request must come from a state governor clearly stating the names and details of suppliers to the National Coordinator of the NHGSFP for approval,” it read.

“This approval was lacking in the case under investigation as Ibrahim only submitted a request in September 2018 but could not present evidence of approval, hence money was paid directly by the programme to the cooks’ accounts.”

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