The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has taken its war against corruption to the civil service. The Commission’s resolve to ensure that corruption is reduced to the barest minimum was heavily felt last Friday afternoon in Abuja as ICPC operatives stormed the National Identification Management Commission (NIMC) and arrested 41 officials for allegedly presenting fake credentials during a promotion exercise.
According to a statement issued by ICPC’s Head of Media, Folu Olamiti, “luck ran out on them when they applied for upgrading and presented additional qualifications, during the NIMC promotion exercise, they claimed to have acquired.
Preliminary vetting carried out by NIMC, through the Federal Ministry of Education, indicated that some of the tertiary institutions contacted to verify their certificates, confirmed the certificates to be fake, altered or that the owners were not their graduates. One of the suspects presented a certificate which was “doctored” to indicate Second Class degree rather than the earned Third Class degree. Others presented forged certificates whereas they still had pending carry-overs”.
Mr Olamiti also stated that “preliminary investigations by ICPC indicated that some of the certificates emanated from some of the illegal degree awarding mills and Outreach Centres recently sealed by ICPC”.
It was also made known that the Commission is probing the complicity of those involved in the graduation of one of the suspects with a degree in Engineering from an approved university who could not express himself in writing.
ICPC has strongly advised tertiary institutions yet to respond to the earlier inquiries sent to them by the Federal Ministry of Education to do so immediately.
The arrest and interrogation of the NIMC officials is coming in the wake of ICPC/Nigerian Universities Commission(NUC) crack-down on illegal degree awarding mills nationwide.
ICPC Chairman, Mr. Ekpo Nta, had at several public presentations promised to sanitise the Public sector and commended the NIMC Management for its zero tolerance for corruption in its workforce given the sensitive national assignment it is charged with.