The anti-corruption group wants the EFCC to probe the CCB boss, Sam Saba.
The attention of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has been drawn to alleged abuse of office and cover-up at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
A coalition of civil society organisations, Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has petitioned the EFCC to investigate the Chairman of the CCB, Sam Saba, over the allegation that he is shielding a prime suspect in the police pension scam, Uzoma Attang, from prosecution.
The EFCC had secured a court order to freeze Mrs. Attang’s asset following her indictment for “criminal breach of trust and conspiracy involving the sum of N29.8b in the uncovered police pension scam.”
Mrs. Attang, a director of finance and account in the federal civil service, is accused of using the fund she allegedly stole from the police pension scheme to buy landed property in Abuja and Lagos far exceeding her salary.
Many of the property were also not declared as part of her asset as required by law, the EFCC has stated.
However, at the commencement of her trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the Chairman of CBB made an application that truncated the process.
“The application dated 23rd August 2012 stated that the charges against Mrs. Attang were being withdrawn to enable the CCB conclude further investigations on the matter,” wrote Olarenwaju Suraju, Chairman of CSNAC.
According to Mr. Suraju, Mr. Saba blindsided the bureau’s prosecutor of the case, Sam Egede, in making the application.
“Until the date of writing this letter, there still is no update on “the further investigations” claimed to be the reason of the withdrawal,” wrote Mr. Suraju.
“In the light of the recent court order, we find it difficult to believe that Mr. Saba did not have enough evidence to prosecute the matter. That withdrawal was nothing short of an obstruction of justice, informed by other pecuniary inducement.”
CSNAC said that Mr. Saba’s action is an aberration of the functions of the organisation he leads.
“The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) was established to deal with corruption by public servants in breaches of its provision. Where therefore an officer saddled with the responsibility of upholding the CCB’s mandate discharges his duty in manner considered unethical and or compromising, it destroys the essence of the Bureau. For a successful anti-corruption fight, there must be horizontal accountability on the part of institutions of governance and accountability,” the anti-corruption coalition said.
CSNAC called on the EFCC to investigate Mr. Saba’s role in the discontinuance of the trial against Mrs. Attang. The organisation noted that the recent court order to freeze Mrs. Attang’s property points to the fact that there is enough evidence to prosecute her contrary to the reason given by Mr. Saba.
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