No less than fourteen victims of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) job racket have admitted to receiving paychecks through the Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS) of the Nigerian government without performing any work.
According to Naija News, a House Committee led by Yusuf Gagdi is looking into employment fraud at the FEC after one of the commission’s employees, Haruna Kolo, confessed.
The fourteen beneficiaries affirmed their lack of employment to a House of Representatives committee looking into employment racketeering.
The beneficiaries informed the committee on Monday that the Nigerian government’s Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS) network was used to pay their salaries.
Gbadamosi Jalo, one of the recipients, informed the House of Representatives committee that Kolo had taken him to the IPPIS office and enrolled him on its website without finding him a job.
Jalo claimed that despite receiving an appointment letter purportedly from the National Institute of Oceanography, he was not given a job with any ministry, department, or organization of the government.
Kolo reportedly told him that the FCC chairperson had accepted his payment for the job in question.
He added that the driver of the Commissioner who represented Taraba at the FCC, Gambo Yisha’u, had also assured him that Mrs. Dankaka would receive the money in question.
Similar claims were made by twelve additional witnesses, who claimed that after paying Kolo money, they had not been assigned to any ministry, department, or government organization.
Musa Ibrahim, a potential victim of the scheme, said before the committee that he had given money to a man named Abdullahi Azareh who served as a liaison between him and the FCC commissioner for Nasarawa State.
Ibrahim testified before the House Committee that despite being detained by the Nasarawa State police following a flurry of complaints and petitions, Azareh was eventually freed thanks to the involvement of the FCC commissioners.
“We are victims of circumstances,” he said, “the guy was working with the commissioner representing Nasarawa State at the FCC and was arrested and detained for few hours.”
Gagdi’s rebuttal, in contrast, claimed that the committee only sought witnesses after learning about their account statements and Kolo’s payment.
While the committee was not a prosecution body, he clarified that it would investigate the situation thoroughly and suggest the proper sanctions.
Gagdi criticized the IPPIS for being too open, saying, “If Kolo was finding it easy to go to the IPPIS and register payees without the knowledge of authorizing officers, the IPPIS needs to answer a lot of questions.”
Kolo, who admitted last week to accepting money on behalf of the FEC chairwoman, was wanted for questioning by the House Committee Chairman who had earlier asked for his arrest.