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EFCC, PICA arraign 9 over N338.57m payroll scam

Benjamin Umuteme


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) yesterday dragged nine people before an Abuja High Court for embezzlement of N338.57 million by inserting ghost workers into government’s payroll.
The nine men are alleged to have conspired and inserted fake workers in the payroll of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources.
The nine suspects charged were Usman Aliyu Dayo, Osunlope Opeyemi, Johnson Adedokun, Ojeifo Robert Sylvanus, Oyebade Ebenezer Ayodeji and Florence Olaolu Dada. Others were Olaolu Haruna Dada, Blessing Ejeh and Aderibigbe Isaac Taiwo. They were said to have siphoned the sum of N338,577,678.78 from the act between 2011 and 2015.
They all pleaded not guilty when the 15-count charge was read to them and their Counsels applied for bail on their behalf.
Commending on the matter, Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun commended the team running the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) for detecting pay roll fraud by the nine suspected civil servants.
The Minister described their arraignment as “a welcome development that has given further credibility to the war on corruption by the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Mrs. Adeosun vowed that the Federal Government through the Ministry of Finance and the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit would intensify efforts to rid the public service of fraudulent persons.
It could be recalled that the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit was instituted by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration in 2016 to strengthen the controls over personnel and pension costs.

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