Eight years old boy ‘buys’ N500m house in Abuja –Investigative panel

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Okoi Obono-Obla

A N500 million house was bought in Asokoro area of Abuja in the name of an eight years old boy, the Special Presidential Investigative Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, SPIPR, has revealed.

The chairman of the panel, Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, made this known on Wednesday at a press conference in Abuja.

He said the discovery was made during the investigation of three permanent secretaries over alleged corrupt practices and abuse of office.

One of the permanent secretaries, he said, bought the house in the name of her eight years old boy.

The chairman of the panel, however, refused to name the permanent secretary involved in the alleged scam.

She was also said to have a registered company with which she transacted businesses.

His words:  “We got a petition from a whistle-blower about the property. So we have commenced investigation.

“Our investigation is yet to be concluded because when we are investigating a public officer we also investigate the siblings, relations and fronts so you won’t be able to link-up their names with such persons.

“The other one was alleged to have included projects in budget of 2017 and 2018 that were fake and also was allegedly collecting money to pay for goods and services that are no more in existence.

“The other permanent secretary, we also got information from a whistle-blower that he has a lot of landed property, including a hotel, in Abuja.

“From our investigation, he did not declare his assets.

“He was inaugurated as permanent secretary in October, 2017, and in accordance with Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) procedure, assets declaration form was given to him to declare his assets.

“We started investigating him since last year and we discovered that he was given the form and he did not return the form to the CCB.”

The chairman said the panel had continued to recover huge sums of monies from commercial banks being excessive charges that banks had applied on accounts of Federal Government agencies that were domiciled with them before the introduction of TSA.

According to him, over N216 million was recovered from a commercial bank recently.

He however refused to mention the name of the bank, arguing that doing so might affect the economy.

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