The Federal Government’s anti-corruption operatives are now going after ‘super rich’ public officers who have multiple properties and other assets suspected to have been the rewards of graft.
It was learnt, that the searchlight of the anti-corruption agents was on civil servants that possess many properties in the Federal Capital Territory.
It was gathered that in Abuja on Wednesday, operatives in the Assets Tracing, Recovery and Management Unit of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission had been asked to invite suspects for interrogation and recovery of ill-gotten assets in their possession.
It was gathered that the ICPC had strengthened the ATRMU by posting more personnel to the unit to ensure the success of its campaign.
An operative at the ICPC, who confided in one of our correspondents, said the ICPC was using the anti-corruption transparency unit of the commission in ministries, departments and agencies to coordinate the ongoing investigation of the “super rich” civil servants in the country.
It was learnt that the ICPC was relying on petitions from civil servants and the ACTU operatives to carry out its investigations into the activities of the affected civil servants.
It was gathered that the ICPC operatives’ focus had been on civil servants who have more than three properties and a fleet of cars beyond their income.
Although the source did not mention the number of civil servants that had been interrogated in relation to the new move to check fraud in the civil service, it was learnt that several personnel of the civil service had been placed under watch by the ICPC.
The source said any civil servant found to have compromised his office to acquire wealth would be charged to court after the proceeds of the corrupt acts would have been confiscated by the Federal Government.
The source said,
“The ICPC is intensifying efforts to retrieve some of these stolen assets from those involved.
“You know that the commission has a unit called the Assets Tracing, Recovery and Management Unit. This is the unit that is involved in probing those who have such assets with stolen funds.
“In fact the operatives are working very discreetly on the issue but the focus of the ICPC’s probe is the civil service.
“Those civil servants living a life beyond their means, their lifestyles are under watch. People are monitoring them, whistle-blowers are writing petitions and the Assets Recovery Unit is following up on them.
“Another thing is that we have the Anti-Corruption Transparency Units in all the agencies; these units are being supervised by our officers. They are collaborating with whistle-blowers in the various ministries and agencies…”
The Resident Consultant, Media and Events of the ICPC, Mr. Folu Olamiti, said that he was aware of the presence of the ARMTU and its constitutional functions but asked our correspondent to call back for a response on the current investigation.