EFCC probes N600m immigration recruitment proceeds; quizzes Moro

Job seekers on the pitch of Abuja National Stadium applying for work with immigration department (file photo)
Job seekers on the pitch of Abuja National Stadium applying for work with immigration department (file photo)

By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor

ABUJA—The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has intensified effort to trace and recover about N600 million said to have been realized from the proceeds of the online registration by job seekers, who enrolled for the ill-fated immigration recruitment last year.
Each of the candidates was made to part with N1,000 through a company allegedly engaged by top politicians and officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, which amounted to about N600 million, which, however, disappeared.

Neither the then Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, whose ministry supervised the agency, nor the then NIS boss, David Paraddang, who was initially suspended and eventually sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari for undisclosed reasons, had been able to give account of the said sum.

Among those who paid the money, were 15 Nigerians, who were crushed to death across rowdy stadia in the country, where the controversial job tests were to be carried out, but marred by stampede.

After the incident, the organizers of the recruitment exercise recorded N45 million in government coffers and closed the books.

However, determined to find out who might have embezzled the money, EFCC, yesterday, continued the interrogation of Abba Moro and asked him to tell them all he knew about the funds generated from the process.

Moro’s interrogation, yesterday, was the second within 72 hours, having been grilled for 10 hours on Tuesday on the same matter.

The embattled former minister spent six hours with EFCC interrogators yesterday, before being admitted to administrative bail.

One of the officials in the agency told Vanguard that the investigators wanted to know who, between the leadership of the NIS then headed by Paraddang, and the supervising Interior Ministry, then headed by Mr. Abba Moro, was keeping the money realized from the candidates who participated in the ill-fated exercise.

An official of EFCC said last night: “At the end of the day, our agents will be able to know who is culpable so that we can press appropriate charges accordingly in line with our zero tolerance for corruption.

“We are going to get to the roots of the job scam and bring to book anyone found to have abused public trust in the process.”

It will be recalled that EFCC had earlier in August interrogated Paraddang over the job scam and released him on administrative bail.

It could not be established at press time if Moro or Paraddang would be prosecuted over the scam.

However, EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed to Vanguard that Moro came into the premises of the commission at 11a.m. and was interrogated till 4:20p.m., when he was asked to go home.

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