Chris Steven, Abuja
For six hours on Thursday, a former Inspector General of Police, and now Chairman of Police Service Commission, Mike Okiro was drilled by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over fraud related allegations.
The Former IGP who was dressed in ash coloured Niger Delta attire arrived at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja, in a black Toyota Land Cruiser Jeep with registration number T 98 01 FG (PSC), and moved into the investigation department of the ICPC at about 9:51am in company of his Chief Accountant, Bisala A. A., Ibeh E. C and George Todonu, his Police orderly.
Okiro’s appearance at the anti-corruption commission office followed invitation by officials of the commission over a petition sent to it by Aaron Kaase, Principal Admin Officer (Press and Public Relations Unit) of the PSC in which he alleged that Okiro extensively defrauded the Police Service Commission.
Embattled Okiro, was however granted administrative bail as he left the anti graft agency at about 4:10pm.
In the petition titled: “Petition against sir(Dr ) Mike Mbama Okiro, Chairman, Police Service Commission for corruption, abuse and fraudulent act to swindle the Police Service Commission to the tune of N275,525,000 (Two Hundred And Twenty Five Million, Five Hundred And Twenty Five Thousand Naira Only”, Kaase said that the petition was based on his findings and concern as a citizen of Nigeria and a staff of the Police Service Commission, whose civic responsibility amongst others include fighting corruption in our society.
The petition reads “As a build up to the 2015 General Elections, the Police Service Commission relying on provisions of its establishment Act, sought for and obtained the sum of N350,000,000.00 (Three Hundred and Fifty Million Naira only) from the National Security Adviser (NSA) purportedly to train her (sic) staff in Monitoring the conduct of the Nigeria Police in the concluded General Election.
“With the funds in hand of the Commission, as statutorily required, the Commission sought for approval to use same vide two letters to the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) with Ref No.PSC:1499/VOL/111/138 dated March 12 and received on March 19,2015, the Commission requested for the issuance of “No objection” to adopt selective tendering Method for the training of Commission staff on Monitoring of Police conduct during the 2015
“The Chairman of the Commission quoted the prices for the training as follows: Abuja (Abuja staff) 500 participants, awarded to Bobec &Associates at N95.3Million ; Kano staff (200 participants) awarded to Direct Knowledge Consult limited at N95Million and Lagos staff, 200 participants awarded to Tzone Communications Ltd at N85Million”
Kaase in his petition stated that the entire Police Service Commission’s staffs are not up to 400.
“It is also a fact that the Commission has no office in Lagos and the entire South West. It is also a fact that the Commission has less than 10 members of staff in Kano”, he said.
The petitioner further accused the commission’s chairman of fraudulently deceiving the Bureau of Public Procurement, BPP to obtain an approval for his scam on March 23, 2015 with reference No.BPP/S.I/15/VOL.1/050 to carry out the fraud.
It was further alleged that Okiro also collected the sum of N4.6 Million as first class ticket to travel to the U.S in 2013 without doing so.
“An example was when he collected the sum of N3, 601, 000.00, his Police orderly, Inspector George Todonu collected the sum of N1, 131, 000.60, to attend the conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police from 25th-28th October, 2014 in Orlando, Florida USA, which held in Dublin, Ireland on the 28th of October, 2014, which held at the same time without attending none”, he stated in the petition.
It was also alleged that Okiro used his personal aides “as front to collect DTA and other allowances namely; Supreme Ibitomi and CSP Peter Opara and other S.As. He used them to collect over N2million as DTA during the March 28 and April 12, 2015 general elections”.
Meanwhile, Kaase the petitioner who said his life has been threatened after sending out the petition, also alleged that at a meeting held on June 2, 2015 at his office, Okiro was said to have been jittery and shaken while asking him (Kaase) to withdraw the said petition, retract the publications in the media and forward a written apology to him in order to lift the suspension placed on Kaase.
ICPC, it was learnt has resolved to do a thorough and painstaking job in getting to the bottom of the weighty allegations, as the issues being raised were not ones to be rushed.