How Salaries Commission saved FG over N400bn from DTA fraud, others



The National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC), says it has saved the Federal Government over N400 billion by stopping Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) fraud and other illegal allowances in public institutions.

The Chairman of NSIWC, Chief Richard Egbule in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja said many government agencies were in the habit of awarding its workers allowances without getting appropriate approval.

“Some board chairmen are in the habit of pushing the chief executives to pay what is not appropriate or authorised by government.

“In some of these agencies, you will find people taking salaries as well as allowances that they are not supposed to take, or taking the rate of allowances that they are not supposed to take.

“We have seen cases where they abuse the periodicity of payments. For instance, if somebody is supposed to get furniture allowance once every four years, they will instead pay the same amount every year.

“In fact, the most abused payments relates to DTA. The highest per night, which is meant for a Minister is N35, 000 but in some agencies, that is not even what they pay a level 8 officer.

“On their own, they will extend it even as high as N150, 000 per night.

“Also, you won’t believe that staff schools which are the concern of universities and tertiary institutions have also been abused.

“These universities establish primary and secondary schools, collect school fees from pupils, but place their teachers as staff of the universities that the government pays.

“In fact in many of them, teachers collect salaries as much as a professor. So all these things we discovered and put a stop to it,’’ he said.

Egbule said the law setting up the commission does not give it power to prosecute, therefore the commission is only able to report infractions to supervising ministries.

In addition, he said there had been instances where some anti-graft agencies had stumbled on the commission’s report and opened investigation, thereby recovering government funds.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama


Alleged Fraud: Court orders interim forfeiture of businessman’s N827m to FG



Justice Aneke gave the order, following an ex parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Aneke directed the EFCC to publish the order in any national daily for any interested party to appear before the court within 14 days and show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal government.

The court fixed June 29 for parties to show cause.

The EFCC through its counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, had told the court that Edevbie owned a firm, Flank Power Ltd.

He said that the forfeited sum, comprising N616.6million and N211 million was deposited in Flank Power Ltd’s bank account between February 11 and 19.

According to the commission, the sum is ‘reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud related offences Act, 2006 and Section 44(2)b of the 1999 Constitution.

EFCC said that if the application ‘was not heard and determined expeditiously, the monies housed in the said bank account sought to be temporarily forfeited will be dissipated.’

The commission tendered an affidavit of urgency in support of the motion ex parte sworn to by an EFCC Investigating Officer, Mr Chidi Nweke.

Nweke identified himself as one ‘of the operatives of the EFCC assigned to investigate the intelligence report received’ against Edevbie.

He said: ‘The said intelligence was investigated, traced to and recovered from Edevbie, who is the owner of Flank Power Resources.

‘We traced some of these monies to the bank account of Flank Power Resources Ltd containing monies sought to be forfeited to the Federal Government,”he said.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
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Salaries, unemployment up in Q1 in Bulgaria




Salaries and unemployment in Bulgaria in the first quarter have increased over the same period of last year, the National Statistical Institute (NSI) said Thursday.

Preliminary data showed that average monthly wages and salaries in the first quarter rose by 9 percent year-on-year to 1,317 Bulgarian levs (732 U.S. dollars).

The highest growth rates were recorded in real estate (20.6 percent), education (12.5 percent), and information and communication (10.4 percent), the NSI said.

Employees in the information and communication sector earned the highest wages and salaries, 3,236 levs per month, nearly 4.5 times more than those in accommodation and food service activities, where the figure stood at 737 levs.

Meanwhile, the NSI said the number of employees under labor contract at the end of March decreased by 54,000, or 2.3 percent year-on-year.

The steepest drop in absolute figures was observed in accommodation and food service activities — with 24,900 people, while the highest increase was registered in information and communication — with 8,400 people, the NSI said.

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Fraud: Court sentences ex-Adamawa Pilgrims Welfare boss to 5 years imprisonment



The Adamawa High Court sitting in Yola has sentenced a former executive secretary, Adamawa State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Bishop Jingi Mayo, to five years imprisonment.

Mr Bello Bakori, Adamawa Commissioner, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), confirmed the development in a statement made available to the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Yola.

Bakori said that Jingi was the executive secretary of the board between 2016 and 2017, and was sentenced to correctional facility on March 23, 2020, without option of fine.

He said the defendant was charged on a 3-count charge filed on the Jan. 30, 2019, for violating the provisions of Sections 16, 19 and 25(1)(a) of ICPC Act.

The charges, according to the commissioner, are punishable under Sections 16, 19 and 25(1)(b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000.

“The convict was charged to Court on Jan. 30, 2019, for diverting and furnishing of false return in respect of the sum of N69,198,600.00 (Sixty Nine million, One Hundred and Ninety Eight Thousand and Six Hundred Naira).

“The amount after thorough investigations was discovered meant for the operation committees of the 2016 Christian Pilgrims operation to Israel and fraudulently the convict diverted the amount for personal use.

“The convict was sentenced to five years imprisonment by Adamawa High Court presided by Justice Nathan Musa, for diverting government money and making  false statement to the officer of the Commission,” the statement read in part.

Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola
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Alleged Fraud: Court admits Oyo-Ita to N100m bail, releases her to counsel



Alleged Fraud: Court admits Oyo-Ita to N100m bail, releases her to counsel: A Federal High Court, Abuja on Monday admitted Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, former Head of Service to bail in the sum N100 million   and two sureties in like sum.

Two other defendants, Garba Umar and Ubong Effiok were also granted bail in the sum of N50 million each and two sureties in like sum.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo admitted them to bail and released them to their counsels citing the Coronavirus pandemic as the reason for releasing them to their counsel.

The judge said that in view of the pandemic, he could not endanger the lives of the defendants by remanding them in EFCC custody.

He, however, warned that the defendants must report to the EFCC office everyday between 10AM and 12 Noon for seven days pending when they would perfect their bail conditions.

According to the judge, if the bail conditions are not perfected after seven days, they will be remanded in EFCC custody.

Other conditions of the bail include that one of the sureties must be a civil servant on Grade Level 17 in and Federal Government ministry, parastatal or agency.

“The Surety must be resident in Abuja and own property worth N100 million.

“The other surety where not a civil servant must be gainfully employed and depose to an affidavit of means.”

For Umar and Effiok, one of their surety must be resident in Abuja and own property worth N50 million.

The defendants are all expected to deposit their international passports with the registrar of the court.

Oyo-Ita  and eight others were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) on an 18-count charge bordering on money laundering and breach of public trust.

She was arraigned alongside Frontline Ace Global Services Limited; Asanaya Projects Limited; Garba Umar ;Slopes International Limited; Gooddeal Investments Limited; Ubong  Effiok; U & U Global Services Limited and Prince Mega Logistics Limited.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges while a “not guilty” plea was entered for the companies.

They were arraigned for fraud in relation to Duty Tour Allowances, (DTA), Estacodes, conference fees fraud and receiving kick-backs on contracts.

The EFCC particularly accused the former head of service of colluding with Effiok and one Titus Tomsin to make bogus claims of fictitious DTA, estacodes and conference fees which were paid by government to their accounts.

Mr Paul Erokoro (SAN), counsel to Oyo-Ita informed the court that he had filed an application for bail and pleaded with the court to hear the application even though he had only just served the prosecution.

“In view of the situation in the  world today where there is a clear and present danger of threat to life under congested conditions, I wish to plead that we take the application today or that I be allowed to make an oral application for bail,” Erokoro pleaded.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Mohammed Abubakar confirmed that he had been served with the applications for bail.

Abubakar said that even though he appreciated the fact that the country was going through a trying period, measures such as social distancing had been put in place to check it.

He, however, acknowledged that bail was at the discretion of the court but urged that should the court be mindful to grant bail, it should impose stringent measures.

Earlier, the judge announced that in view of the Coronavirus pandemic, the court would entertain only cases dealing with applications for bail and breech of fundamental rights where the defendants were incarcerated.

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
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