The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission says it is set to arraign a civil servant and some bank officials for an alleged fraud involving 38 ghostworkers.
The Director of Public Enlightenment of the ICPC, Mrs. Rasheedat Okoduwa, said this while making a presentation at a Stakeholders’ Validation Meeting on the Report of Corruption Risk Assessment of Nigeria’s E-Government System in Abuja on Tuesday.
Okoduwa said the civil servant was able to insert the names of 38 ghost workers into the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, one of the systems through which the Federal Government pays salaries.
She said, “There is a case of about 38 persons who are not government officials who were put (into IPPIS) by the system operator on her own so that she would be collecting money through their names.
“She went ahead to open bank accounts. Even the bank (officials) that opened the accounts are part of the people that will be taken to court because about four or five of those accounts had the same phone number.
“The bank officials did not do the KYC (Know Your Customer) exercise properly. Most of the addresses on those accounts are nowhere. They do not exist. So, that is also negligence on the part of the bank.”
The ICPC spokesperson said IPPIS still had challenges stemming from collusion on the part of those running the system.
She added, “Collusion between those operating the system remains a possibility, while there are still opportunities for manipulation before transactions are entered into the system. We must never lose sight of that.
“The lesson is that the government cannot afford to sleep. The challenges and risks identified must be addressed in a continuous manner and on a regular basis.”
Also speaking, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, said IPPIS was porous and called on the operators to improve.
Oyo-Ita, who was represented by the Director of Special Duties at the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Adesola Olusade, explained that to log into the IPPIS portal, a user needs a reference identity and a token which is obtained from the Human Resources Department.
He, however, lamented that the token expires after two weeks which, according to him, is too long and leaves room for manipulation.
The Chairman of the ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta, who was represented by the Secretary to the commission, Dr. Ebipamowei Oglafa, said the Corruption Risk Assessment report was conducted in collaboration with the ICPC with support from the European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes.
He said 26 risk assessors took part in the exercise which lasted for two months.Punch