The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has arrested one Waziri Lukman, a grade 09 Account staff at Usman Danfodio University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH), Sokoto State over diversion of N250 million belonging to the Federal Government.
A statement by Rasheedat Okoduwa, the Commission’s spokesperson said an ICPC intelligence-led investigation revealed that Lukman who is believed to be the kingpin in the fraudulent act diverted deductions meant for third parties such as the State Board of Internal Revenue and over-payment deductions on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) into his private accounts and that of a company.
According to the statement, he is being questioned to unravel all those behind this fraudulent act.
Okoduwa explained that the Commission has also commenced efforts to recover the proceeds of this fraud through the seizure of exotic cars and real estate properties from him.
She said findings by the Commission have revealed that Lukman and others involved in the act were able to compromise a critical national infrastructure such as the IPPIS as a result of likely negligence on the part of the management of the Teaching Hospital.
“For instance, failure to cross-check and reconcile the execution of its budget and allowing officers from the Finance and Account department to access another officer’s password on the platform, present real threats and vulnerabilities,” Okoduwa explained.
Further checks by the Commission, according to her, revealed that the suspect took advantage of the window of opportunity on the IPPIS platform that “allows Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) to edit salaries that have been processed by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) before they are finalised or paid,” to substitute the genuine destination account numbers with those of his co-conspirators before payment.
“Again, the Commission’s findings indicate that the platform does not match account names with account numbers. This loophole created the opportunity for the fraudster to divert the funds successfully for the while that the fraud lasted,” she said.
Okoduwa said the investigation into the fraud is ongoing, and that appropriate actions would be taken by the Commission upon conclusion.