From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
Nine months after she petitioned the state Commissioner of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related OffencesCommission, ICPC, on alleged fraud in the disbursement of the ongoing Conditional Cash Transfer, CCT, scheme, in her area in Kogi State, Hauwa Suleiman, has cried out in pain and accused the Commission of frustrating her genuine complaint.
Suleiman who is a facilitator for three communities in Adavi Local Government Area in the North Central Nigerian state, had petitioned the Commissioner, alleging that the desk officer, Memunat Ohunene Abdusalam connived with the Senior Special Assistant, SSA to Governor Yahaya Bello on (Security) for Adavi local government area, Joseph Omuya Salami, to shortchange beneficiaries.
Suleiman who expressed surprise that almost nine months after submitting the petition to the ICPC Commissioner, nothing has been heard from him, said, she is pained by the level of conspiracy to shortchange beneficiaries some of whom were swapped and replaced with able bodied, energetic people who shared the money with the Desk officer for Adavi local government, Memunat Ohunene Abdusalam.
In a copy of the petition made available to our Correspondent in Lokoja by Hauwa Suleiman, she alleged that the desk officer have been pocketing not less than three million Naira every month through illegal deductions from beneficiaries.
She also accused the Desk officer of fraudulently swapping names of genuine beneficiaries with fake ones and sharing the proceeds with them while some of the genuine beneficiaries were left to die without receiving a penny before their deaths.
Suleiman gave a specific instance of late Ajako Azeez whose money is still being claimed nine months after his demise.
She also gave the instance of another beneficiary, Sule Kekere whose name was replaced with that of Hannah Yusuf who is a young lady while Kekere happens to be an elderly, vulnerable man.
“All these and many more were included in the petition submitted to the commissioner nine months ago but nothing have been heard since and even now when the latest payment is being made, the practice of shortchanging the people continues.”
“I am pained to see how people are being shortchanged while the genuinely vulnerable people who are supposed to be the real beneficiaries were left to languish in penury,” Suleiman lamented.
Our correspondent’s attempt to speak with the desk officer of Adavi, Memunat Abdusalam failed as she did not pick repeated calls to her phone.
She also did not reply the message sent to her on her WhatsApp number.
When contacted, the Kogi state Commissioner for the ICPC, Patrick Chilezie Ogwuegbu, said that it was not true that nothing is being done as the Commission has launched investigation into the allegations.
While reacting to the allegation of shortchange in the implementation of the ongoing conditional cash transfer in Adavi local government area of Kogi state filed by Suleiman before him, he promised that the case will critically be looked into based on its merit for necessary action in accordance with the law of the land.
According to him, the petitioner has been invited and had even made her statement, which had been sent to the appropriate quarters, which has launched the investigation.
“We do not conduct our investigation on the terms of the petitioner and we also do not conduct our investigation on the pages of newspapers, we also do not give daily reports to petitioner, she can only have any information when we conclude our investigation” the commissioner said.
On the allegations that some of the genuine beneficiaries have died and even though their money are still being paid to someone else, the commissioner said that was not included in the original petition and therefore was not part of the on going investigation.
” She will need to bring a fresh petition if she had a new evidence that requires further investigation” he added.