The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has quizzed Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita over alleged N3 billion contract scam, Nation Newspaper reports on Thursday, August 15, 2019.
She faced a four-day grilling during which she was in custody of the anti-graft agency beginning from August 8, 2019.
Oyo-Ita has now landed in the hospital after being granted an administrative bail.
She was also interrogated for alleged abuse of duty tour allowance, money laundering and stealing of government funds.
Oyo-Ita has been given restricted access to visitors at the private hospital in Jabi area of Abuja where she is receiving treatment.
Although the administrative bail was granted so that she could be reporting for further interrogation from her office, she has not been able to return to the anti-corruption agency’s office since she was allowed to go.
About N600 million has been traced to the account of one of her key aides who has been unable to give any justifiable explanation for it.
The EFCC has blocked the account and has initiated the process of obtaining an interim forfeiture clause to seize the cash.
Preliminary findings confirmed that about N3 billion has been traced to the Head of Service which came in through proxy companies.
Detectives, it was gathered, uncovered slush funds linked to the Head of Service while probing the activities of a former Minister under who she served as Permanent Secretary.
A source privy to the ongoing investigation said: “Preliminary investigation confirmed that she used different fronts or cronies to obtain contracts from Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs.
“While tracing embezzlement by the ex-Minister, detectives stumbled on diversion of funds into proxy companies which the Head of Service has relationship with.
“The startling revelations made detectives to dig further into her activities as a Permanent Secretary and Head of Service.
“There were proofs of how she secured contracts through proxy firms from some ministries including Special Duties, Power, Works and others. There was a case of abuse of office because there was evidence of pressure on Permanent Secretaries to get her contracts. She moved from one ministry to the other.
“Investigators also discovered that she was involved in falsification of Duty Tour Allowance, DTA, and estacodes.
“About N600 million has been traced to the account of one of her aides. This illicit account has been blocked and the EFCC is in the process of invoking interim forfeiture clause.”
Sections 28 and 34 of the EFCC (Establishment Act) 2004 and Section 13(1) of the Federal High Court Act, 2004 empower the anti-graft agency to apply Interim Assets Forfeiture Clause.
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