The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has commended the arraignment of the former Interior Minister of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Abba Moro and four others namely; Anastasia Daniel Nwobia, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry at the time, F.O. Alayebami, a Deputy Director, one Mahmood Ahmadu (at large) and Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd, the contracting firm for the botched recruitment exercise for the National Immigration Service, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before a Federal High Court, in Abuja to answer to the 11-count charges slammed on them by the EFCC bordering on obtaining money by false pretences, procurement fraud and money laundering.
According to the anti-graft agency, Moro and the four others allegedly defrauded 676,675,000 unsuspecting job applicants of the total sum of N676, 675,000 which represented the sum of N1, 000 per applicant under the false pretence that the money was for the payment of the online recruitment exercise into the Nigeria Immigration Service.
CACOL hastens to remind Nigerians that the recruitment exercise was not just about stealing money; it stole lives and injured many Nigerians! We recall that on March 15, 2014 during the controversial NIS recruitment, no fewer than 20 hapless job seekers was estimated to have lost their lives in the stampede that resulted from the exercise owing to the wobbly arrangements made by the Ministry and the contractor for the recruitment tests and interviews.
Mr. Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of CACOL in responding to the development, commended the efforts of the EFCC and the Judiciary in the bid to bring the accused persons to justice but called on all other relevant security agencies toequally follow suit by probing the circumstances that led to the loss of lives in that incident. He said ‘’we are charging the EFCC to treat the case with optimal transparency and ensure that appropriate punishment is dispensed to every culpable person, and very importantly we demand that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal government should hold the accused persons responsible of the lives lost; the innocent Nigerians did not die of natural causes or illness but died as a result of official negligence and corruption’’.
CACOL is stressing that the era of “business as usual” must end; sweeping corruption and criminal cases of this magnitude under the carpet must be demonstrated to have been left behind in accordance to the anti–corruption stance of the Buhari administration.
“This particular case is long overdue for justice, owing to the fact that it involved loss lives of defrauded innocent jobseekers as all what the Jonathan administration did was to simply compensate a few family members of those who lost their lives with automatic employment; a move that only encourages corruption, impunity and injustice in the Nigerian society.’’ Mr Adeniran submitted.
Media Coordinator, CACOL