Five of the 17 federal permanent secretaries who were fired by President Muhammadu Buhari are set to be investigated after reports surfaced that they were involved in corruption.
The Nations reports that one of the suspects has already been quizzed by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) while another is suspected to have used public fund to purchase expensive vehicles and engage in foreign trips. Two others were suspected to have received bribes.
Reports revealed that the permanent secretaries were involved in wide scale corrupt practices and were living above their means.
According to The Nation, the investigations include fraudulent acquisition of properties; $4.5b tax holidays; N1.9billion Ebola fund (including N900million for isolation tents); $2billion arms deal; N29billion fictitious contracts; N275.5million budget for 2015 poll monitoring; the mismanagement of subsidy funds; questionable waivers and N2.4 billion fertiliser scam.
A source said: “About five of the retired permanent secretaries might face trial based on discreet investigation by some security agencies on how they mismanaged their ministries.
“Some of these permanent secretaries appeared before one or two anti-graft agencies for questioning. They are already aware of their pending trial.
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“Some of these senior civil servants have been pleading for soft landing but the government may not listen to them.”
Dr. Goke Adegoroye, a former permanent secretary said “there is now [in 2014] more rot to be cleared within the civil service system” compared to the period between 2004 and 2007 when there was a lot of reform.