The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Tuesday refunded N925 million fraudulently diverted from the account of the Federal Ministry of Environment to the ministry.
Mr Ekpo Nta, the Chairman of ICPC, who handed over the recovered loots in Abuja, added that N56 million diverted from the accounts of three Federal Government Colleges had also been refunded to the schools.
He said the refund was in line with the mandate of the commission in Section 6 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.
Nta said the process of recovering the ministry’s fund followed a petition in respect of a fraudulent electronic funds transfer from its account on Dec. 1, 2014.
“A forged payment mandate in the sum of N925 million was presented to the First City Monument Bank, Plc, where the ministry’s account was domiciled and the funds were diverted to different accounts.
“The funds were meant for the Great Green Wall Programme of the Federal Government meant to check desert encroachment through tree planting.
“The funds being returned today pursuant to a court order represent actual recovered proceed by the ICPC and a retained default guaranteed sum all amounting to N925 million,” he said.
He said the commission was also investigating the movement of N469 million in relation to the diverted funds of the ministry through some financial institutions.
Nta said that the recovered and refunded funds of the three Federal Government Colleges were meant for meal subsidy for students and capital projects.
He identified the colleges as Federal Science Technical College, Ijebu-Imushin, Federal Government Girls College, Sagamu and Federal Government College, Odogbolu.
He said the alleged diversion was perpetrated by the Federal Pay Officer in Abeokuta, Ogun, and was reported to ICPC by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation.
In her remark, Mrs Fatima Nana, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, commended ICPC for its prompt response to the petition sent by the ministry.
She pledged the commitment of the ministry to continue to support ICPC toward ensuring accountability and transparency in the conduct of government businesses.
In a related development, Mrs Agnes Owolabi, Principal, Federal Government Girls College, Sagamu, commended ICPC for its relentless efforts in the recovery of the diverted funds.
Owolabi promised that the fund would be used to complete the on-going hostel project in the colleges to increase the number of students’ admission.