Petroleum Fund Boss, Others Face Trial over Graft
The Executive Secretary of Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) Mr. A.S. Gurin and four oil markers are to be prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) for allegedly violating the provision of the commission’s Act which prohibit frustrating investigation.
Indicted with the PEF boss were Alhaji Babagana Kodebe, Alhaji Ibrahim Biu, Alhaji Mustapha Coomasie and Alhaji Nasiru Kwara. Investigation at the commission revealed that the suspects were out to interfere with investigation and were threatening prospective witnesses.
The Secretary was alleged to have taken advantage of his position to suspend two staff of the fund, Almaroof Babatunde and Aisha Usman for testifying against him and revealing corrupt practices and thereby committed an offence against the law.
As if that was not enough, he conspired with two of the suspects, Nasiru and Mustapha to write a petition against the staff who were earlier suspended, a situation that misled the ICPC on the correct position of things in the agency.
The executive secretary was further alleged, according to investigation, to have engaged in corrupt act by personally directing the anti-corruption and transparency unit of the agency set up to investigate the embattled staff. He was said to have ordered the anti- graft unit not to release some documents requested by ICPC, and this is against the commission’s law.
oth Kodebe and Ibrahim were alleged to have provided misleading information to the commission against relevant provisions of the law establishing the commission. The PEF boss was also alleged to have collided with some officials of the Code of Conduct Bureau to suppress the report of investigation carried out by the bureau on two suspended staff of the agency.
Investigation at the bureau showed that the embattled staff were exonerated in the report of the investigation and that the report had been forwarded to the agency. Mr. Gurin was said to have rejected the report and went to the Code of Conduct where he requested for a withdrawal letter about the report forwarded to his office.