384524 reps panel probes bank accounts of fcc commissioners over sale of job slots

Reps panel probes bank accounts of FCC Commissioners over sale of job slots

By Jonathan Lois

The House of Reps ad-hoc committee investigating the jobs-for-sale scandal at the Federal Character Commission (FCC) has begun to examine bank accounts of 36 FCC commissioners over sale of job slots.

The panel’s Chairman Yusuf Gagdi, announced this at the continuation of its investigative hearing on Monday in Abuja.

He said the committee was studying the bank accounts of the commissioners as well as those of individuals who served as fronts in selling jobs at federal agencies.

The committee chairman expressed displeasure that a former FCC worker, who currently works with the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), Haruna Kolo, again failed to honour its invitation for a week.

Kolo had appeared before the committee last week when he admitted to collecting money on behalf of FCC Chairman Muheeba Dankaka to sell slots for employment.

Gagdi also announced that the probe on the FCC would henceforth be held behind closed doors to avoid detractions from its objective of dealing with over 600 other agencies.

During yesterday’s hearing, witnesses who claimed to be victims of job racketeering named Kolo as the man they paid to for job slots.

One of them, Badamasi Jalo, said he met Kolo through Yishau Gambo, said to be the driver to the FCC commissioner from Taraba State.

He said: “I am from Taraba State and I met Haruna Kolo through Yishau Gambo. I paid to Gambo. When I was taken to the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) office, that was how I got Kolo’s contact. We did our IPPIS on October 14, 2021. I started receiving my salary the next month of November. Based on that, I was confident.

“Kolo asked me to look for additional people. He told me there would be another recruitment in another organisation, that is, the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) in Lagos. He paid four people’s money into my account and I paid into these three accounts, including Haruna Kolo’s in Ecobank, Bello Halima’s in Access Bank and also paid to the FCC through Gambo’s account.”

Jalo alleged that Kolo told him that he took the money to the FCC chairman.
Gagdi said there was evidence connecting Jalo, who was said to be a front, to Gambo, the driver to the FCC commissioner representing Taraba State.

“There are traces of financial transactions that have to do with some candidates that got recruitment through the process of racketeering,” he said.

Another witness, Musa Ibrahim from Nasarawa State, said he introduced some candidates to another employee he identified simply as Abdullahi, who allegedly scammed unsuspecting victims.

According to him, he had no idea Abdullahi was a fraud.

He said Abdullahi claimed to be working with the FCC commissioner representing Nasarawa State as well as the agency’s chairman.

According to him, he had sufficient evidence to back his claim.

Gagdi wondered why it was so easy for Kolo to take people to IPPIS for capturing without authorisation, adding that IPPIS must explain the anomaly.

The chairman also said Kolo would be compelled to appear before the committee.

The panel also asked the Registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, for recruiting over 300 people without advertising.

Oloyede said JAMB had to carry out the recruitment with a waiver to bypass the advertisement due to the exigencies of the time.

But Gagdi said the waivers were being abused, thereby denying qualified Nigerians a fair opportunity at getting jobs.

Oloyede said the board followed the principle of Federal Character in job recruitments.

He said in places where JAMB could not get people, it met with the governors to help out.

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