June 29, 2006/thisday
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has said that the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and the Nigeria Police Force are the most corrupt public institutions in Nigeria.
The Commission at a press briefing in Abuja yesterday said this was a result of various surveys of public institutions carried out in recent times across the country.
ICPC Chairman, Justice Emmanuel Olayinka Ayoola, who was represented at the briefing by Mr. Folu Olamiti, Consultant on Media and Events, said public office holders and government officials are now to hold interactive sessions with the Commission and members of the press and the general public to intimate Nigerians on how they are going about fighting corruption in their organisations.
In his words, "Some surveys have been taken in the last few years and it has been held that the PHCN and the Nigeria Police are two of the most corrupt public institutions in Nigeria. In PHCN, over 500 staff have been dismissed in the last two years for corruption and other related offences.
According to him, "Starting from July 18th, the Commission will be holding a monthly interactive session known as ICPC Guest Forum. Top government officials would be invited to the auditorium to face the press and interested members of the public.
They are to face public scrutiny and brief on activities of their various ministries. The Managing Director of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, Mr. Joseph Makoju has agreed to feature in the maiden edition of the forum.
The chairman explained that the forum was not aimed at laundering "We are asking them to come and let Nigerians know what they are doing to fight and check corruption in their organisations, he said.
He said that the challenge the Commission has been facing is non-co-operation from the general public as regards petition and evidence to support allegations made against public officials and political office holders.
On the allegation of graft in the National assembly, he said. "We are expecting people to petition the Commission and as soon as we get the petition we go after them. We can not just work on assumptions and allegations without supporting evidence. The chairman has said times without number that the public has to lodge complaint, and the press that broke the news probably have additional information to assist the Commission. Without all these, it will be difficult to go after them.
Meanwhile, a Deputy Director of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC is standing trial before an Abuja High Court for corrupt practices.
The case which comes up for hearing on July 4th is before Justice Ishaq Bello.
The accused (names withheld) was alleged to have recommended and used her company (McRoy Nig. Ltd) to obtain a contract from INEC in contravention of section 12 of the ICPC Act.