Police Trust Fund: How Rivalry Between Board, Management Triggered ICPC’s invitation
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has invited ex-Inspector General of Police Suleiman Abba and seven others to appear over a probe into N11 billion contracts by the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (NPTF).
Also being probed is the spending of the N1.6 billion take-off grant for the organisation.
Abba, who is Chairman of NPTF is said to have been shocked on the invitation over contracts and deals he knew nothing about.
The Executive Secretary and Accounting Officer of the Fund, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu who was a former Governor in Sokoto State is yet to be invited.
Others invited in a letter of invitation was signed by Director of Operations ICPC, Akeem Lawal are Director, Legal Services, Mrs. Victoria Ojogbane; Director, Planning, Research and Statistics, Alh. Yahaya Mohammed; Director, Finance and Account, Mr. Lawal Gunjunju; Special Assistant, Technical, Mr. Salihu Abubakar; Director, Human Resources and General Services, Dr. Femi Akinfala; a Board member, Mr. Ben Akabueze; another Board member, Engr. Mansur Ahmed.
While some members of the Board, including it chairman ex-IGP Abba, said they did not know anything about the contracts and expenditures, they alleged that the management, headed by the Executive Secretary usurped their powers in collaboration with Bureau of Public Procurement and the Ministry of Police Affairs.
PRNigeria gathered that ICPC’s invitation was engineered by a petition due to an existing rivalry between the board and the management over who should be responsible for the expenditures and procurements of the Fund.
A source in the agency said that there have been mutual suspicions and mistrust between the Office of the Chairman and that of the Executive Secretary.
“Since May 6, 2020, when President Muhammadu Buhari approved the appointment of the board the Board and the management, the Chairman and the Executive Secretary have not agreed collectively on how to run the organisation.
“The Act of the Nigerian Police Trust Fund, 2019, especially Section 12 (1) empowered the Board of Trustees to award contracts of any kind or description for any amount, whether in local or foreign currency in conformity with the due process requirements as provided under any law, rule, guideline or regulations.
“The Section further empowers the board to invest money accruing to the Trust Fund and approve the utilisation of the returns on investment in the same way as money accruing to the Trust Fund.
“Meanwhile, Section 15 of the Act defines powers of the Executive Secretary when it states that the ES is to be the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of the Trust Fund; is responsible for the administration of the TrustFund; is be the secretary of the board of trustees; shall be keep proper records of the proceedings of the board and is in charge of general direction and control of all other employees of the fund.
“The Act also direct the Executive Secretary to to work closely with the implementation committee in discharging out such duties and responsibilities as may be assigned to him by the board of trustees
Another source in the agency said that “the management, led by the Executive Secretary has been operating within the laws and following due process. That it is why he sought further clarifications from the Bureau of Public Procurement and other circulars from the Secretary to the Government of the Federation among others.”
Apart from the Chairman and the Executiver Secretary, other board members Mr. Nnamdi Maurice Mbaeri – (Representing Ministry of Police Affairs); Inspector-General of Police (Representing Nigeria Police Force); Usman Bilkisu( Representing Ministry of Justice); Mr. Ben Akabueze (DG, Budget and National Planning) – Representing Ministry of Finance, Budget and National; Engr. Mansur Ahmed – Representing Organized Private Sector being Executive Director, Dangote Group and President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN); and Dr. Michael Bamidele Adebiyi – Representing Civil Society Group.
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Report By: PRNigeria.com