The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Source Offences Commission (ICPC) has announced an investigation into alleged fraud, criminal conspiracy, and diversion of public funds in the Rural Electrification Agency (REA).
The commission in a statement issued on Tuesday said the Managing Director of REA, Ahmad Salihijo Ahmad, over the allegations of corruption against his office.
Ahmad was invited via a letter dated October 12, 2023, to appear before the Commission on Wednesday, October 18.
Apart from the ICPC, the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-corruption has also invited Ahmad to appear before it over fraud, criminal conspiracy and diversion of public funds in the agency.
These investigations followed a petition of gross misconduct and monumental fraud against Ahmad by the Centre Against Injustice and Domestic Violence (CAIDOV).
The Centre in the petition signed by its executive director, Gbenga Soloki, raised concerns over serious malfeasance taking place in REA under the leadership of Ahmad.
While noting that the allegation violates the provision of the ICPC Act, the anti-corruption Agency in its statement said:
- “The Commission is investigating an alleged violation of certain provisions of the Corrupt Practices and Other Source Offences Act, 2000. Pursuant to Section 28 of the above-mentioned Act, you are required to appear before the undersigned at the ICPC Headquarters, Abuja on Wednesday 18th October 2023 by 10:00 am prompt in order to assist the Commission in its investigation.”
Allegations against the MD
CAIDOV in its petition to the ICPC alleges as follow:
- “To start with, Ahmad has 37 bank accounts all linked to his Biometric Verification Number with discrepancies in his account names and date of birth.
- “Some of those accounts are companies’ accounts. But more damning is that two of the account names bear the name of his mother, Hajia Bilkisu Salihijo Ahmad, a Director at the National Board for Technical Education.”
Earlier, CAIDOV had also petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) asking it to open investigations into what it described as fraud, criminal conspiracy and diversion of public funds allegedly going on in the REA.
Soloki, in his letter delineating EFCC/PET/HQR/4798/2023 at the EFCC office stated that the organisation is bothered that the REA is becoming a cesspool of corruption, adding that “we hereby call on you to investigate financial transactions in the agency as a matter of urgency to rescue the agency from corrupt public officers.”
According to CAIDOV, corruption is going on in the hierarchy of the REA among government officials who are being paid by taxpayers, adding that this is an injustice which is a core mandate of CAIDOV’s activities.