- Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita has been quizzed by the EFCC over alleged N3billion contract scam
- The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation was said to have been grilled for four days by the anti-graft agency
- About N600million has been traced to the account of one of her key aides who has been unable to give any justifiable explanation for it
A report by The Nation indicates that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has quizzed Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita over alleged N3billion contract scam.
According to the report, she was also interrogated for alleged abuse of duty tour allowance, money laundering and stealing of government funds.
After a four-day grilling during which she was in custody of the anti-graft agency beginning from Thursday, August 8, Mrs Oyo-Ita has landed in the hospital after being granted an administrative bail.
She has also been given restricted access to visitors at the private hospital in Jabi area of Abuja where she is receiving treatment.
Although the administrative bail was granted so that she could be reporting for further interrogation from her office, she has not been able to return to the EFCC’s office since she was allowed to go.
About N600million has been traced to the account of one of her key aides who has been unable to give any justifiable explanation for it.
The EFCC has since blocked the account and has initiated the process of obtaining an interim forfeiture clause to seize the cash.
Preliminary findings confirmed that about N3billion has been traced to the Head of Service which came in through proxy companies.
Detectives, it was gathered, uncovered slush funds linked to the Oyo-Ita while probing the activities of a former minister under who she served as permanent secretary.
“Preliminary investigation confirmed that she used different fronts or cronies to obtain contracts from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs)
“While tracing embezzlement by the ex-minister, detectives stumbled on diversion of funds into proxy companies which the Head of Service has relationship with.
“The startling revelations made detectives to dig further into her activities as a permanent secretary and Head of Service.
“There were proofs of how she secured contracts through proxy firms from some ministries including special duties, power, works and others. There was a case of abuse of office because there was evidence of pressure on permanent secretaries to get her contracts. She moved from one ministry to the other.
“Investigators also discovered that she was involved in falsification of Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) and estacodes,” a source quoted in the report said.
Another source with full knowledge of the investigation said: “We have only covered a fraction of the preliminary findings, she will still have to return after completing her treatment.”
There has been a pall of silence in government circles because of the sensitive nature of the EFCC’s findings.
Meanwhile, the EFCC has traced some of the looted N2billion for Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SMED) in Kwara to the account of a former First Lady in the state.
The First Lady, who has so far refunded N3million, has refused to report to the anti-graft agency for interrogation.
She reportedly told EFCC that she was indisposed but didn't give details on the nature of her illness. She also has not presented any medical report.
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