The House of Representatives Committee on Environment on Thursday expressed delight in the effective approach by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) towards the recovery of nine hundred and twenty four million, nine hundred and eighty nine thousand, seven hundred and seventy six Naira, eighty nine kobo (924,989,776.89) stolen from the account of the Federal Ministry Of Environment.
The Committee gave the commendation during a meeting with the ICPC team led by its Chairman, Barr. Ekpo Nta; Ministry of Environment led by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Nana Mede and operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
The Committee Chairman, now a Senator-elect, Hon. Uche Ekwunife and all the Committee Members were full of praises for ICPC for the successful investigation and full recovery, in record time, of the N925 million fraudulently transferred from the account of the Federal Ministry of Environment by fraudsters.
Earlier on, Barr. Ekpo Nta while briefing the Committee, recounted how ICPC acted on a phone call and written petition on dated 1st December 2014, both from the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Environment in respect of a fraudulent transfer of N924, 989,776.89 from the Ministry’s account into different accounts by fraudsters who had hacked into the Ministry’s accounting system.
Mr Nta extolled the Permanent Secretary for her prompt action which was crucial to the successful recoveries of the monies, arrests and arraignment of the suspects.
Mr. Nta revealed that the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) also started investigation into the case based on a petition it received from the First City Merchant Bank (FCMB). However, based on a request by the Permanent Secretary of the Fed. Ministry, EFCC later transferred it’s preliminary investigation report and some arrested suspects to ICPC in line with inter-agency collaboration.
He further stated that ICPC had since arrested and arraigned in court suspects, including Mr. Adeolu Adeyanju who allegedly masterminded the transfers and lodged N465, 193, 460.06 out of the stolen sums into his Detwinz Global Ltd bank account .
The ICPC Chairman told the House Committee that he would not disclose sensitive details since the matter was in Court and other aspects of the investigation were ongoing to ascertain or exclude insider complicity and arrest of fugitives.
The Commission was designing new procedures for blocking similar loopholes in ministries, departments and agencies of government which could encourage similar fraud.