Nigeria: Witnesses Provide Reps Panel With Evidence Linking FCC Commissioners to Job Racketeering

The witnesses presented bank statements and oral evidence linking aides of different commissioners in the FCC to job racketeering.

New witnesses on Monday testified before an ad hoc committee of the House of Representatives investigating allegations of job racketeering in the Federal Character Commission (FCC).

The witnesses presented bank statements and oral evidence linking aides of different commissioners in the FCC to job racketeering.

The committee is investigating ministries, departments, agencies (MDAs), parastatals, and tertiary institutions on personal recruitment, employment racketeering, and the mismanagement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS).

The Chairman of FCC, Muheeba Dankaka, and the commission have been in the eyes of the storm over the job scandal hitting the commission.

Some current and former staff of the commission have testified against Mrs Dankaka for running a job sales ring.

A former aide of the Commission Chairperson, Haruna Kolo, had informed the committee that he was in charge of collecting money on behalf of Mrs Dankaka and remitting cash to her.

Last week, the Committee issued a warrant of arrest against Mr Kolo for failing to honour subsequent summons of the Committee; however, it appears the warrant has not produced him.

At the resumption of the hearing on Monday, the Chairman of the Committee, Yusuf Gagdi (APC, Plateau), said it obtained the bank statements of Mr Kolo and flagged some names that made suspicious transfers to the account and have been summoned.

He stated that one Gbadamosi Jalo made several transfers to Mr Kolo.

“In Haruna Kolo’s account, we saw transactions linked to Ishau Gambo, a driver linked to the Taraba commissioner. We have no reason than to invite the Taraba Commissioner. We called him with Abubakar, the PA to the commissioner. Gbadamosi Jalo featured prominent, including some candidates who got the job through racketeering,” he said.

Mr Jalo, while testifying under oath, said he paid N1.2 million into the account of Mr Kolo and was offered employment with the FCC. He stated that he was subsequently enrolled on the IPPIS and was receiving his salary.

He informed the committee that following the success of his employment, he was urged by Mr Kolo to get other job seekers that are ready to pay. He told the committee that he got about ten persons who paid through him.

Mr Jalo said most candidates who came through him were recruited at the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR).

Mr Jalo said he met Mr Kolo through Ishayu Gambo, a driver to Taraba State commissioner.

“I met Haruna Kolo through Ishau Gambo. We did our IPPIS on 14tb October 2021. I started receiving my salary the next month November. Based on that, I had confidence. Kolo told me to look for additional people. He also told me that there would be another recruitment. When they paid money into my account,” he said.

Similarly, Musa Ibrahim also testified before the committee. In his testimony, he claimed that he facilitated the payment of money to the account of Abdulahi Ibrahim, allegedly an aide to Mamman Ankayi, the FCC Commissioner from Nasarawa State.

He presented evidence of payments to the committee and alleged that Mr Ibrahim was arrested, but the commissioner facilitated his release.

“Abdullahi Ibrahim was a scam; we got him arrested at a point,” he said.

In his ruling, Mr Gagdi said the Nasarawa commissioner and the 36 other commissioners must appear before the committee because it appears everyone is facing different allegations.

He also insisted that Mr Kolo must appear before the committee to give further evidence.

“He cannot come here and say what he wants to say and disappear. He asked for evidence from him, but he did not give any. We want to further interact with him, but he is not forthcoming. Whatever script he is acting on, we will get the fact. Nobody will drag this committee into any politics,” Mr Gagdi said.


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