COVID-19 palliatives looting: Follow The Money asks EFCC, ICPC to investigate FG agencies

COVID-19 palliatives looting: Follow The Money asks EFCC, ICPC to investigate FG agencies

- Reactions continue to trail the discovery of government storehouses for COVID-19 palliative

- The discovery sparked a looting spree of these food and material resources across the country

- Anti-corruption group, Follow The Money, wants anti-graft agencies to intervene

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A group, Follow The Money has called for the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate federal government agencies responsible for the acquisition and distribution of COVID-19 palliative relief materials.

The leading social accountability initiative has been tracking intervention funds and materials disbursed to state governments to cushion the impact of the pandemic.

The group said the states had assured that palliatives were distributed accordingly, even though they refused to provide details of distribution and evidence of the same.

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According to Follow The Money Founder, Hamzat Lawal, the discovery of palliatives hideouts further indicates a systemic failure in governance and a distrust in leadership.

COVID-19 palliatives looting: Follow The Money asks EFCC, ICPC to investigate FG agencies
Follow The Money founder, Hamzat Lawal, says the situation is an indication of a systemic failure in Nigeria. Photo credit: @HamzyCODE
Source: Facebook

His words:

“There is no reason why the distribution of these items should have been delayed—knowing that the coronavirus pandemic worsened the country’s economic situation and increased poverty level.
“This discovery further exposes the rot and persistent corruption in the Nigerian system.
“The Nigerian government continues to thwart the possibility of gaining the trust of its citizens, especially with its opacity and poor accountability, which has now materialised in mob action and heavy looting of COVID19 palliatives.”

The EFCC and the ICPC must thoroughly investigate procurement fraud and mishandling of COVID-19-related funding and resources at the state and federal level, bringing culprits to justice.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged federal and state governments to release all COVID-19 palliatives still stored in warehouses across the country.

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This was contained in a statement sent to journalists on Monday, October 26, and signed by the NLC president, Comrade Ayubba Wabba.

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In a related development, a foremost political scholar and visiting fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), Dr Uche Igwe has described state governors who stored palliatives meant for distribution to hungry citizens as pretenders.

Dr Igwe expressed shock that food items meant for the downtrodden were kept by governors even during the COVID-19 lockdown.

In a statement sent to journalists on Monday, October 26, Igwe described the act of the governors as sheer wickedness, adding that it is inexcusable.

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