From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Kogi state Commissioner of Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, Patrick Chilezie Ogwuegbu has launched investigation into the allegations of fraud in the implementation of the ongoing conditional cash transfer programme in Kogi State.
The Commissioner, while reacting to the allegation of shortchange in the implementation of the ongoing conditional cash transfer in Adavi local government area of Kogi state filed by one Hauwa Suleiman before him, promised that the case will be critically looked into based on its merit for necessary action in accordance with the laws of the land.
The petitioner, Hauwa Suleiman had petitioned the Commissioner alleging that the desk officer, Memunat Ohunene Abdusalam connived with the Senior Special Assistant,SSA to Governor Yahaya Bello on (Security) for Adavi local government area, Joseph Omuya Salami to shortchange beneficiaries.
Suleiman who expressed surprise that almost nine months after submitting the petition to the ICPC Commissioner, nothing has been heard from him said that she was pained by the level of conspiracy to shortchange beneficiaries some of whom were swapped and replaced with able bodied energetic people who shared the money with the Desk officer for Adavi local government, Memunat Ohunene Abdusalam.
A copy of the petition made available to our Correspondent in Lokoja by Hauwa Suleiman who is a facilitator for three communities in Adavi alleged that the desk officer had been pocketing not less than three million Naira every month through illegal deductions from beneficiaries.
She also accused the Desk officer of fraudulently swapping names of genuine beneficiaries with fake ones and sharing the proceeds with them, while some of the genuine beneficiaries were left to die without receiving a penny before their deaths.
Suleiman gave a specific instance of late Ajako Azeez, whose money was still being claimed nine months after his demise.
She also gave the instance of another beneficiary, Sule Kekere, whose name was replaced with that of Hannah Yusuf who is a young lady while Kekere happens to be an elderly vulnerable man.
“All these and many more were included in the petition submitted to the commissioner nine months ago but nothing have been heard since and even now when the latest payment is being made,the practice of shortchanging the people continues.”
“I am pained to see how people are being shortchanged while the genuinely vulnerable people who are supposed to be the real beneficiaries were left to languish in penury.”Suleiman lamented.
DAILY ASSET’s attempt to speak with the desk officer of Adavi, Memunat Abdusalam met a brick wall as she did not pick repeated calls to her phone.
She also did not reply the message sent to her on WhatsApp.
When our correspondent contacted the Kogi state Commissioner for Independent corrupt practices commission, ICPC,-Patrick Chilezie Ogwuegbu said that it was not true that nothing was being done as the commission has launched investigation into the allegations.
According to him, the petitioner have been invited and had even made her statement which had been sent to the appropriate quarters who have launched the investigation.
“We do not conduct our investigation on the terms of the petitioner and we also do not conduct our investigation on the pages of newspapers,we also do not give daily reports to petitioner,she can only have any information when we conclude our investigation” the commissioner said.
On the allegations that some of the genuine beneficiaries have died and even though their money was still being paid to some other persons the commissioner said that was not included in the original petition and therefore, was not part of the on going investigation.
” She will need to bring a fresh petition if she had new evidence that requires further investigation” he added.