- EFCC arrests ex-Minister, Abba Moro, two others over 2014 immigration recruitment scam
Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) had last year questioned the immediate past Minister of Interior over alleged complicity in the March 2014 recruitment exercise for the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).
Mr. Abba Moro was made to answer questions on his alleged involvement in the recruitment exercise which eventually turned tragic.
Reports revealed that there were only 4, 000 vacancies that were to be filled in NIS, while the Ministry of Interior approved the sale of application scratch cards to over 520,000 citizens, through a consulting firm.
Yet the ministry failed to provide adequate provision for the conduct of standard recruitment aptitude test. About 18 job seekers died and many injured in March 2014 during a nationwide recruitment test.
The over 500,000 applicants who indicated interest in the job had paid a compulsory fee of N1,000 as application fee.
At least nine job seekers died on March 15, 2014 at the Abuja National Stadium while scrambling to secure seats for a recruitment test into the Nigerian Immigration Service. The stampede ensued after the over 200,000 job seekers scrambled through a poorly organized barricade at the stadium. In Port Harcourt, Rivers State, four applicants died from the stampede while 12 others sustained injuries and were rushed to Rivers government-owned Braithwaite Memorial Hospital.
Also arrested by the anti-graft agency were former Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Anaesthesia Nwaobia, and a deputy director who allegedly facilitated the scam.
A source at the commission, said the three suspects were picked up Monday evening.
“They were brought into the commission’s headquarters today and will be arraigned on a 12-count charge in the Federal High Court Abuja on Tuesday,” the source said.
Some of the charges against Mr. Moro and his colleagues include obtaining by false pretence, procurement offences, corrupt practices and money laundering.
After the March 15 tragedy, several Nigerians demanded the resignation or dismissal of Mr. Moro and the Comptroller-General of Immigration, David Parradang, as well as their criminal prosecution for involuntary homicide.
They were accused of putting in place a sham recruitment process that enabled the interior ministry to extort at least N520 million in compulsory levy imposed on applicants.
Moro refused to resign and then president Goodluck Jonathan lacked the balls to sack him because Moro was a nominee of then Senate president, General David Mark rtd, Elombah.com was reliably informed.
A source had told Elombah.com in the midst of the scandal that when Mr Jonathan intimated Mr Mark that Moro had to go because he constituted an image problem for his administration Mark retorted that Mr Moro was not the only person presenting an image problem for the administration.
“Diezani Madueke was also a problem for your administration”, Mark was said to have retorted, referring to then petroleum minister, Mrs Diazani Allison-Madueke, who allegedly presided over a $20billion loot in the petroleum sector and is now arrested in London, United Kingdom for fraud.
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