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ICPC recovers N2.3m from 212 FRSC officials extorted from motorists

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In a collaborative exercise between the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Fed­eral Road Safety Corps FRSC and the Depart­ment of State Services (DSS), aimed at putting an end to the extortion of motorists on Nigerian roads, 187 officials of the FRSC have been arrested across the country.

Mon­ies taken as bribes from motorists were also re­covered from them.

The exercise, aimed at bringing an end to unwholesome practices by officials of the FRSC, Vehicle Inspection Offi­cers (VIO) and Motor Ve­hicle Authority Agency (MVAA), also led to the arrest of 25 VIO person­nel.

According to Sunday Inde­pendent, the officers were arrested across Nigeria between 2019 and 2021 in ‘Operation Tranquility’, a joint operation that in­volved the ICPC, FRSC and DSS.

While the sum of N1, 293.970 was recov­ered from 187 FRSC of­ficials, N1, 063.920 was reclaimed from 25 VIO personnel.

The FRSC Corps Marshal, Dr. Bob­oye Oyeyemi, had in 2019 approached the ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, for collab­oration to curb the un­wholesome practices by Road Safety officials on the highways, particu­larly the extortion of motorists.

According to the fig­ures, the first phase of the operation was in the six states of Kadu­na, Rivers, Ogun, Kogi, Bauchi and Abia, while Tranquility Phase 2 was conducted in Ondo, Zamfara, Yobe and Imo states.

Under Phase Four, it was gathered that the operation was carried out in 10 Driver’s Li­cence Centres in Lagos State. The Centres were in Coker/Aguda, Univer­sity of Lagos, Ikeja, Ip­onri, Bariga, Ojo, Town Planning Ilupeju, Eti-osa, Agege and Oshodi.

For the Phase Five, the exercise was conducted in four states, namely, Anambra, Cross-River, Enugu and Plateau.

However, the exercise under Phase 3 was not conducted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The joint team was said to have successful­ly arrested 46 FRSC offi­cers and recovered N40, 830 in Phase 1, while 26 FRSC officers were ar­rested in Phase 2 with N51, 260 recovered.

According to the data obtained, the highest amount recovered from corrupt road safety of­ficials was N1, 063,920 under Tranquility Phase 4 and 25 road safety of­ficers were picked up, while 33 personnel were arrested under Phase 5 with N45, 870 recovered.

A breakdown of the figures showed that under phase one, four officials were arrested on August 16, 2019 in Kaduna State; five were arrested and the sum of N3, 500 recovered on August 16, 2019 in Rivers State, while six officials were arrested and N500 recovered on August 16, 2019 in Ogun State.

Further breakdown of the arrest made and amount recovered un­der phase one of the exercise showed that 11 FRSC officials were ar­rested on August 16, 2019 in Kogi State; five FRSC officials were arrested and the sum of N4, 300 recovered on same date in Bauchi State; while 15 FRSC officials were arrested and a sum of N32, 530 recovered in Abia State.

Further statistics re­vealed that under the second phase, five of­ficials were arrested and the sum of N1, 150 recovered on October 4, 2019 in Ondo State; eight officials were arrested and about N10, 530 was recovered in Zamfara State; nine officials were arrested and N11, 300 recovered in Imo State; while four officials were arrested and N28, 280 re­covered in Yobe State.

For the fourth phase of the operation, 25 of­ficials, VIO and MVAA personnel were arrest­ed and the sum of N1, 063,920 recovered on Au­gust 20, 2020, in Coker/ Aguda, University of La­gos, Ikeja, Iponri, Bari­ga, Ojo, Town Planning Ilupeju, Eti-osa, Agege and Oshodi Driver’s Li­cense Centres.

In the same vein, five FRSC officials were ar­rested in Onitsha under the fifth phase of the op­eration while Awka had 11 arrested officials; Cal­abar eight; Enugu five and Jos had four FRSC officials arrested.

The suspects were said to have been grant­ed administrative bail, while further investiga­tion activities are also said to be on-going. Also, while some are undergoing administrative disci­plinary procedures, others are being prosecuted in Federal High Courts across the country.

The ICPC officials, who led the various monitoring teams, served as princi­pal witnesses during the investigation..

The Corps Public Edu­cation Officer, Assistant Corps Marshal Bisi Ka­zeem, confirmed the ar­rests, saying it was done collaboration between ICPC, DSS and FRSC. Under the leadership of Owasanoye, the ICPC has embraced a para­digm shift, conscious­ly promoting strategic partnership with rel­evant stakeholders to strengthen public en­lightenment efforts in discouraging corruption and corrupt tendencies.

 

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