Chris Steven, Abuja
The Federal Government has raised the alarm over an orchestrated plot to discredit the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC), and by extension the government’s anti-corruption efforts, using ‘419ers’ and their ilk.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the PACAC’s letter head and stamp as well as the signature of its Chairman are being forged and used to con people within and outside the country.
In a particular instance, a letter purportedly signed by the PACAC Chairman, Prof. Itse Sagay, entitled ”Presidential Investigation on Outstanding Federal Government External Contract Debts”, and a form to be filled for that purpose, are being sent to unsuspecting persons to extort money from them and to portray the country’s highest advisory committee against corruption in bad light.
”For the avoidance of doubt, the President has not mandated PACAC to investigate and recommend for payment some outstanding contract debts, as contained in the letter in question, neither has the Federal Government approved the disbursement of $850 million in the 2017 budget for payment of the so-called external contract debt
”We are therefore using this medium to inform Nigerians and foreigners alike to disregard such letters,” the Minister said.
He said Prof. Sagay and all the members of his Committee are men and women of proven integrity who will never allow the Committee to be used for any activity that is not within its mandate or that is capable of weakening the anti-corruption fight of the present Administration.