There was mild drama on Monday when a former Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System desk officer at the Federal Character Commission, FCC, Haruna Kolo, accused of collecting bribes from job seekers in exchange for employment, owned up to the allegation.
This was just as he admitted to having received over N75m from desperate jobseekers on the instructions of the Chairman of the FCC.
Not done, Kolo claimed that the FCC boss instructed him to transfer the money to his (Kolo) personal account and pay her in cash which he did a couple of times in her house.
Kolo made the revelation at the ongoing investigative hearing by the House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating federal ministries, departments and agencies, parastatals and tertiary institutions on mismanagement of the IPPIS.
The ex-IPPIS desk officer told the lawmakers that he resigned from FCC on November 2, 2022 to join the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria but ended up getting salaries twice from FCC.
He added that the anomaly was reported to the Human Resource Officer who told him that the issue would be addressed.
He said, “When she came to FCC as the Executive Chairman, she appointed me as a protocol officer and I carried out my duty diligently.
“On the allegations of job racketeering, the FCC Chairman instructed me to liaise with one Mr Shehu, who is a personal driver and Personal Assistant to the Taraba State Commissioner. As a desk officer, I was responsible to take whoever was employed to IPPIS for capturing. No one could go there without a letter from the Chairman or Human Resource Officer of the FCC.
“When she came, she wrote a letter to the Accountant General of the Federation, instructing that no letter from the FCC should be honoured except she signs the letter. So, whenever there was new employment, she signs, gives to me and I take it to the Accountant General’s office for capturing.
“Shehu is the one that brought those who paid money to my account for job, some paid N1m, others N1.5m, all to my personal account, my Ecobank account. She asked me to give cash to her, which I did through POS. So, there is no evidence of transfer or anything.
“On the allegation of working at seven places, I was never at any time involved in seven jobs. They are making the allegation based on assumption.”
He continued, “The second allegation on my subsequent employment at AMCON was a result of her personal favour to me. We were four in number, and she gave the appointment letter to me, Kadijah, and Olushola. We all proceeded for an interview at AMCON headquarters in Abuja after which we were called upon for training on the 16th January 2023,
“After the training, Olushola and I were called to Lagos. Unfortunately, Kadijah, who is the chairman’s biological sister, was rejected. The Chairman accused me of being responsible for her rejection.
“I see no reason why (sic) the chairperson would make allegations of such magnitude against me. I have been threatened even at gunpoint and had to leave Abuja.
“Sir, I want this committee to know that after this sitting if anything happens to me, the FCC chairperson should be held responsible, ” Kolo added.
Responding, the chairman of the committee, Yusuf Gagdi, promised to do every possible to unravel the truth and make the same available to Nigerians.
“This committee will not sit down and watch taxpayers’ money being embezzled.
“I know why we were asking Kolo to give us evidence and we know why we were deferring this sitting for other witnesses alleged to have had financial dealings with the FCC.
“Kolo will appear here tomorrow (Tuesday). We are calling the other witnesses. We will allow you to do your work. Whoever is found wanting will answer his father’s name, including Kolo Haruna,” he said.
The committee adjourned sitting till Tuesday (today).
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist known for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. With a keen investigative eye and exceptional writing skills, he has established himself as a kamikaze reporter, unafraid to delve into the most challenging and controversial subjects. Nwabuisi's vast experience in journalism has honed his ability to uncover hidden truths and shed light on important issues. His dedication to seeking the truth and presenting it to the public in a compelling and thought-provoking manner has earned him a reputable status in the industry.