ICPC arraigns FMC staff for N17m ghost worker fraud

The Head of Payroll Department at the Federal Medical Centre, Bida, Niger State, Sadiq Sadiq, has been arraigned before Justice Abdullahi Mika’ilu of High Court 4 sitting in Minna, Niger State, for allegedly inserting the names of three ghost workers into the payroll of the hospital.

Also arraigned by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, were the Head of Internal Audit, Awesu Bababida, and a worker, Ihuoma Mirian.

They were arraigned on three counts of allegedly siphoning N17.5m for their personal use, using the names of unknown persons.

The accused were also said to have used their positions to confer corrupt advantages upon themselves.

According to a statement on Sunday by the ICPC spokesman, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, the offences are contrary to sections 19 and 26(1) (c) and punishable under Section 19 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.

The counts read in part, “That you, Sadiq A. Sadiq, Awesu M. Bababida and Ihuoma Mirian, being public officers of the Department of Payroll and Audit Unit of the Federal Medical Centre, Bida, Niger State, sometime in October 2015 to July 2016 or thereabout, within the jurisdiction of the honourable court, did conspire among yourselves: to wit: inserting names of three ghost workers into the payroll of the Federal Medical Centre, Bida.”

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The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges and their counsel prayed the court to grant them bail, which was not opposed by the prosecution.

“Justice Mika’ilu granted the accused bail in the sum of N5m each and also ordered them to individually provide two sureties with evidence of ownership of landed properties worth N5m each within the jurisdiction of the court, in addition to surrendering their travel documents.

“The matter was adjourned till October 6, 2020,” the statement said.

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