By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences (ICPC) has handed over 40 vehicles it recovered from retired directors and assistant directors of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources.
According to the commission on Wednesday, one of the directors carted away five vehicles after his retirement just as the affected retired public officers will still face the gull wrath of the law after the completion of ongoing investigation.
Chairman of ICPC, Mr. Ekpo Nta, the vehicles were recovered by a crack team led by the commission’s Director of Asset Tracing, Mr. Frank Nanakumo.
Nta, who was represented at the occasion by a Commissioner in ICPC, Alh. Bako Abdullahi, said the anti-graft agency acted on intelligence report on the looting of operational and utility vehicles of the affected ministry.
According to records made available by ICPC, the breakdown of the recovered vehicles is as follows: Hilux pickup (13); 1 Hilux pickup; 2 Toyota RAV4; 1 Audi Q7; 1 Ford Explorer; 1 Land Rover; 1 Nissan Patrol; 8 Toyota Prado; 3 Toyota Avensis; 7 Toyota Corolla; 1 Toyota Camry and 1 Audi A6.
“It is extremely sad that vehicles meant for the administrative and operational responsibilities of government establishment were dishonestly made away with by retiring senior public officers in whose oversight were the vehicles.
“However, it is fulfilling because the commission in its usual effort was alive to her law enforcement and prevention mandate in the fight against corruption.
“Ladies and gentlemen, in all seriousness, this formality should not just be for handing-over of recovered vehicles from an anti-corruption agency to another public institution. Rather, it should be a moment for solemn reflection on our avowed commitment to public service and the thought processes of the public servant going into retirement.
“You will agree with me that, it is not so much that official vehicles of the Federal Ministry of Water Resources were dishonestly made away with by retiring public servants.
“However, what is more significant is the need to ask some questions and consistently interrogate how 40 government vehicles were removed without authorization.
“Ladies and gentlemen, it is also important to say that in the fight against corruption, it is not so much about those who dishonestly enriched themselves through government vehicles, but the opportunities for corruption that made this corrupt act possible in the first place.
“Consequently, there is also the need for everyone to know that those who saw the vehicles being carted away and said nothing are also part of the conspiracy for abuse of entrusted office and property.” Nta said.