A suspended female officer of the Nigeria Prison Service (NPS) on Tuesday admitted before the National Industrial Court, Abuja that she collected bribe totaling N11.6 million from job applicants.
Mrs Josephine Mba, a Superintendent of Prison, made the admission while being cross-examined by the defence counsel, Mr Shehu Ilegieuno, in a case she instituted against the Nigeria Prison Service.
Joined as defendants in the case are the Minister of Interior and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
In the case before Justice Babatunde Adejumo, the claimant is challenging her suspension from duty and seizure of her full salary on the grounds that due process was not followed by the NPS board.
In her statement of claims, Mba argued that under the Civil Service Rule, an officer on suspension is entitled to half of his/her monthly salary.
However, under cross-examination by the defence counsel, she admitted to collecting a total of N11.6 million from 113 persons seeking employment in the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
She told the Court that the said amount was collected by her and five other officers, also on suspension, to assist the applicants secure employment with the NIS.
Ilegieuno was cross-examining her on her statement of claim and a petition she wrote to the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Zone 7, Abuja dated Sept. 7, 2008.
In the petition admitted in evidence by the Court, Mba agreed that she and her suspended colleagues collected between N80,000 and N110,000 from each of the 113 applicants out of which 48 were successful.
She further told the Court in her witness statement: "My suspension followed petitions written against me by some of the remaining 65 unsuccessful applicants.
In Paragraph 1, Page 2 of the petition to the AIG Zone 7, the claimant said: "I handed over the N11.6m to another officer identified as Ahmodu Ahmed who is also on suspension."
She however told the court that she personally collected part of the money while other officers, also on suspension, collected the balance and handed over to her for onward transmission to Ahmodu.
When asked by Ilegieuno whether by her schedule of duty she was mandated to collect money from job applicants, she answered in the negative.
The case was adjourned till Mar. 5 for further hearing.