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ICPC arrests SIP officials for ‘diverting’ N68m meant for school feeding

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission revealed they arrested two officials of the national social investment programme (N-SIP) in Kogi state for an alleged fraud of N68 million.

The suspects are Khadijat Karibo, head of the state program for the national school feeding program, and Adoga Ibrahim, a former focal point of the state program.

In a statement, Rasheedat Okoduwa, spokesman for the commission, stated that the ICPC made the arrest in collaboration with the national office for social investments.

Okoduwa said the commission received a petition that said the two officials were involved in diverting funds for the school feeding program.

“A petition alleging that the erstwhile State Focal Person and the Programme Manager had connived and diverted large sums of money meant for payments to cooks in the national school feeding programme in Kogi State was received by ICPC,” the statement read.

“The petition alleged that the duo had perpetrated unlawful and unethical deductions from the accounts of cooks by the use of letters purportedly signed by them conveying their consent that a blanket and unspecified amount be moved to 10 different business accounts from the cooks’ accounts for sundry aggregated commodity supplies.”

The spokesperson said an approval, which ought to have been granted for some items was missing, adding that the officials could not provide evidence.

“The petition further alleged that the massive fraudulent actions were pulled off by the officials acting in concert with some banks in the state. Preliminary findings from ICPC investigations indicate that for the programme to aggregate food items, the request must come from a state governor clearly stating the names and details of suppliers to the National Coordinator of the NHGSFP for approval,” it read.

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“This approval was lacking in the case under investigation as Ibrahim only submitted a request in September 2018 but could not present evidence of approval, hence money was paid directly by the programme to the cooks’ accounts.”