…interrogates top officials in 16 ministries
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reportedly show interest in the alleged padding and commenced investigations into the role played by some officials of government in the matter.
The anti-graft is said to have quized the directors of finance and account of 16 federal ministries and has also retrieved the ministries’ original copies of their budget proposals from 2012 to 2016 and as well as the versions approved by the National Assembly.
The EFCC has uncovered many projects inserted in the budget in the last four years and probing whether they were executed.
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and the EFCC have started collaborating to unravel the identities of the companies executing padded projects.
The commission was said to be in the process of inviting the affected contractors.
It was also learnt that the commission had already questioned a former Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Hon. Abdulmumin Jibrin, who blew the whistle, and those who wrote petition against Jibrin on budget padding.
About 184 civil servants were indicted in the padding of the 2016 budget, 22 of whom are top officials who have been dismissed.
The extension of the scope of the budget padding to four years might lead to the arrest of more top civil servants.
According to a top source, the investigation into budget padding by EFCC “appeared to have gathered momentum.”
The source said: “The EFCC has questioned directors of finance and account of 16 Federal Ministries in connection with the matter. The top officials were invited and questioned after the Commission had received and analyzed original proposals from the ministries and the appropriation from the National Assembly between 2012 and 2016.
“There are allegations and counter allegations and the Commission is looking at all of them.”