UPDATED: Ghost Workers: Nigerian govt charges nine suspects

Some of the Payroll fraud suspects at the premises of the Federal High Court, Apo, Abuja shortly before they were taken to their prison custody after they were former charged to court on Wednesday
Some of the Payroll fraud suspects at the premises of the Federal High Court, Apo, Abuja shortly before they were taken to their prison custody after they were former charged to court on Wednesday

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Wednesday arraigned nine suspects for allegedly being responsible for several ghost workers on the payroll of the federal government.

The suspects include Usman Dayo, Osuntope Opeyemi, Johnson Adedokun, Ojeido Sylvanus, Oyebode Ayodeji, Florence Dada, Olaolu Dada, Blessing Ejeh and Aderibigbe Taiwo.

Many of the suspects are civil servants from government agencies like the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources; Environment Ministry and the Federal Civil Service Commission, FCSC.

The federal government has repeatedly said it lost billions of naira to ghost workers and has removed thousands of them from its payroll.

The suspects were charged for allegedly creating and inserting fictitious names in the payroll of the federal government for salaries and allowances without official consent, thereby causing the loss of several millions of Naira.

The offence is said be in contravention of Section 289 of the Criminal Act.

They were arraigned before Justice U. P. Kekemeke of Court 14, Federal High Court, Apo, Abuja.

When the charges against them were read out, all the nine suspects pleaded not guilty.

The court subsequently adjourned their trial to November 8.

Investigators from the anti-graft agency said in the course of investigations, one of the suspects was found to own and operate about 200 personal accounts with different banks in Abuja.

Another reportedly used the particulars of his family members to operate several accounts in various banks.

Another suspect was said to own more than 50 houses in various locations in Abuja and its environs.

The EFCC prosecution counsel, Mukhtar Mohammed, asked the court to remand the suspects in prison custody pending the commencement of their trial, after they pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Granting the request of the prosecution, Justice Peter Kekemeke adjourned till November 8 to hear applications by counsel to three of the suspects for plea bargaining.

The three suspects had applied through their lawyers to forfeit some property and cash in lieu of their conviction for the crimes.

The female suspects were remanded in Suleja Prisons in Niger State, while their male counterparts will stay at Kuje Prisons.

The alleged fraud by the suspects were uncovered by the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Auditing, PICA, constituted by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2016 to strengthen the controls over government personnel and pension costs.

PICA was set up to ensure that all federal government revenue receipts and payments were subjected financial rules and regulations

It is the first time government would be arraigning civil servants for allegedly inserting names of ghost workers into government payroll despite years of reports of losses of billions of naira through such practices at federal ministries, departments and agencies.

Despite government’s claim of recovering huge sums in recent times, no official of any of the agencies had been brought to face trial.


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  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Those found to be ghost workers in the Federal civil service, should be all be arrested, investigated,prosecuted and jailed for a long term jail as ghost workers, are evil whose aim is nothing good or beneficial to the society.They are criminals and belong in the jail for a long time.

    • forestgee

      …but ghost workers are people who are no longer alive; meaning they should be killed

      • Chairman

        Ghosts can not be killed physicaly, but their handlers , like the suspected 9, could be sent to to the land of the dead.

    • Sam

      Ghost workers include fictitious names implanted by the evil servants, to siphon public funds.

    • Kallah Bature

      I agree with you 100%.Kudos to EFCC.This is commendable and a bold step towards righting the evil in the civil service.The amount recovered should be used in curbing unemployment bedeviling the nation for long.

  • Peaceometer

    Ride on Bhuari

  • Afo

    Those charged must sing the song of heartlessness for the hearing of all the people involved in the civil service. We are listening to the different names that will be rolled out in this inglorious trip to perdition. The cases must not be delayed as a lot of time had been used to gather needed evidence and we expect expeditious trial. Little by little we are moving though the journey is a very long one. God bless Nigeria,

  • share Idea

    Let the gullible keep allowing themselves to be deceived by this manipulative, propaganda and lying government. A wanted Maina was allowed into the country, reinstated, and promoted and nobody is being charged while EFCC is telling us about some fall guys are been charged to court now.

  • Fada4Life

    200 fictitious accounts haba that guy wicked no be small, his action has denied able youths their chances of gameful employment

  • 45Degree

    Anywhere wey “better” stealing of government money or property dey, you must find a Yoruba person. If a Yoruba person is not there, know that he wasn’t aware or there are mostly Igbo “chattel.” The youths of the country MUST shine there eyes.

  • Tommy Soto

    #teamefcc all the way!

  • The Optimist

    Na them! Dubious people. This number likely represents just the tip of the iceberg of corrupt civil servants.

  • Dan Arewa

    The coming of Buhari is the beginning of wisdom and development to Nigerians in Nigeria While as the beginning of dooms day for the looters.

  • Iyanda

    I hope this goes beyond these guys. There might be some big men from the ranks of Assistant Director to Permanent Secretaries or even Ministers they were making returns to . Our system just stinks but this is a good beginning.

  • shalom

    Thumb up for these. God will keep on exposing them.