By OHIA ISRAEL
A staff of the of the Police Service Commission (PSC), Mr Aaron Kaase, has opened a can of worms on the Ex-Inspector General Of Police and the Chairman, Police Service Commission Mike Okiro, alleging that he (Okiro) defrauded the nation to the tune of N275 Million during the just concluded 2015 general elections. Aaron Kaase, a Principal Admin Officer (Press and Public Relations Unit) of Police Service Commission in a petition sent to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and made available to African Examiner said the funds were collected from the office of the National Security Adviser.
He further alleged that the ex-IGP had lied that he wanted to use the funds, which was made available to him to train the staff of the commission to enable them monitor the conduct of the police during the election. Parts of Kaase’s petition read: “This petition is based on my findings and concerns as a citizen of Nigeria and a staff of the Police Service Commission, whose Civic responsibility amongst others includes fighting corruption in our society. The facts are stated below for your investigation.
As a build up to the 2015 General elections, the Police Service Commission relying on provisions of its establishment Act, sought for and obtained the sum of N350, 000,000.00 (Three Hundred and Fifty Million) Naira only from the National Security Adviser (NSA), purportedly to train her staff in Monitoring the conduct of the Nigeria Police in the concluded General elections.
With the funds in hands of the Commission as statutorily required, the Commission sought for approval to use same vide two letters to the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) with Ref No. PSC: 1499/VOL/111/138 dated March 12 and received on March 19, 2015, the Commission requested for the issuance of “No objection” to adopt Selective Tendering Method for the training of Commission staff on Monitoring of Police conduct during the 2015 general elections.
In the said letters the Chairman of the Commission, Sir Mike Okiro, fraudulently and knowingly claimed that the training programmes were in three (3) separate lots to be carried out in; Abuja (for headquarter Staff) for 500 participants, Kano (out station staff) 200 participants and Lot (3) for 200 staff participants in Lagos. The Chairman of the Commission quoted the prices for the training as follows:
1. Abuja (Abuja Staff) 500 participants
Awarded to Bobec & Associates at = N95, 525, 000.00 (N 95, 525,000 )
2. Kano Staff (200 participants)
Awarded to Direct knowledge Consult limited at – N95, 000,000 (N 95 Million)
3. Lagos Staff. 200 participants
Awarded to Tzone Communications Ltd at – N85, 000,000.00 (N 85 Million)
“It is, however, a verifiable fact that the entire Police Service Commissions’ staff are not up to 400.
“It is also a fact that the Commission has no office in Lagos and the entire South West.
“It is also a fact that the Commission has less than 10 members of staff in Kano.
“It is a miracle that the Chairman would claim the Commission has almost a thousand staff.
I want to state here categorically that the Chairman of the Commission fraudulently deceived the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) to obtain approval dated March 23, 2015 with reference No. BPP/S.l/SP/15/VOL.1 /050 to carry out the fraud.
To buttress my point that the Chairman deliberately set out to defraud government, he wrote to obtain approval for Selective Tendering, which the BPP in its letter referenced BPP/S.l/SP/15/vol.1 dated March 23, 2015, stated in its reply at no 4(d) thus: ‘That the Commission considered that due to the limited time frame available to which to utilize the funds till the elections, it became impracticable to embark on a competitive bidding exercise.
The Bureau however, opined that this delay might have been deliberate, given that the Nigeria General Election is an every four (4) Year event which permits more than ample time to plan, prepare and perform all procurement procedures associated with the elections. Besides, the Bureau has carried out massive enlighten campaign vide radio jingles and Television broadcast urging the MDA’s to immediately set up procurement planning committees for their projects and programmes, the MDA’s were expected based on the need assessments to have commenced with the advertisement of their projects and programmes, but can only formalize the contract when the funds are released. This is in view of the fact that Section 16(6) of the PPA, 2007 clearly stipulates that
“All procurements shall be conducted based only on procurement plans supported by prior budgetary appropriations and no procurement proceedings shall be formalized until the procuring entity has ensured that funds are available to meet the obligation.” Therefore the assertion by the Commission that it was impracticable to embark on competitive bidding due to the insufficient time before the 2015 election indicates a dilatory conduct on the part of the procuring entity’.
That Sir Okiro instead of public bidding by the Commission decided to award the contract to his girlfriend, Chinasa, who owns Direct Knowledge Consult. That instead of the four day approval granted by the Bureau of Public Procurement, a mock training of 2 hours was conducted at Northgate Hotels Limited, Mararaba Nasarawa State, instead of Kano State.
That Bobec & Associates is a known friend of Mr. Okiro and a man that grounded the BEN House an agency of the Benue state government, who also claimed was going to conduct the exercise in Abuja, hurriedly put together 2 hours training at Oasis Hotel in Mararaba, Nassarawa State.
Okiro has failed to refund money granted for the other 3 days in his request letter.
That Mr. Okiro has severally collected money from the Police Service Commission under the pretext of travelling abroad for official duties without doing so. An example was when he collected the sum of N3, 601,000.00; his Police orderly Insp. George Todonu collected the sum of N1, 131, 000. 60, to attend the conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police from 25th – 28thOctober, 2014 in Orlando, Florida U.S.A and the Nigeria Ireland International Forum which held in Dublin, Ireland on the 28th of October, 2014 which held at the same time without attending none.
Mr. Okiro also collected the sum of N4.6 Million as first class ticket to travel to the U. S in 2013 without doing so. You can cross check his International Passport to ascertain this and PSC account books. That Mr. Okiro has been using 3 SAs and a P.A to defraud the government despite government circulars particularly the one with Ref. No. 59729/T.l/154 from the office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation and signed by Amb. Babagana Kingibe dated 22nd2007 titled: PAYMENT OF DUTY ALLOWANCE AND ESTACODE ALLOWANCE TO PERSONAL ASSISTANTS TO POLITICAL APPOINTEES (CIRCULAR ATTACHED) HAS BEEN ABATED.
“Mr Okiro has been using his personal aides as fronts to collect DTA and other allowances namely Suprem Ibitomi and CSP Peter Opara and other S.As. He used them to collect a total of over N2 Million as DTA during the March 28 and April 12, 2015 General elections in violation of the above quoted circulars. Mr. Ibitomi, one of the so-called S.A was paid through his account with FCMB, Federal Secretariat, phase 1 Abuja, monies which are gathered to return to Mr. Okiro.
That despite the circular above Mr Ibitomi who is dubbed as S.A media has been used by Mr. Okiro to make frivolous claims in the name of media settlements facts which are contained in the Commissions account books.” Mr Kaase said he was ready to defend his allegation even as he stressed that he knew the ex-IGP will fight him to finish for blowing the whistle. “That I know as a fact that the Chairman will viciously fight, as no one fights corruption and goes unscathed. I am ready to pay the supreme price if need be. “I can assure you that the Commission has become a cesspool as a scratch will certainly unveil more.
“I am very much available for further information and to buttress my assertion with the required documents as I neither use a pseudo nor a fictitious name and will not rest till these people are brought to book.” Kaase added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Okiro in a rejoinder signed by Ikechukwu Ani the Head, Press and Public Relations of the commission said; “The attention of the Police Service Commission has been drawn to a frivolous petition against its Chairman, Sir (Dr.) Mike Mbama Okiro, a retired Inspector General of Police and published in some online publications. The petition allegedly sent to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, (ICPC), was signed by Mr. Aaron Kaase, a Principal Administrative Officer in the Press and Public Relations Unit of the Commission.
In the alleged petition, Mr. Kaase levelled series of false and malicious accusations against the person of the Hon. Chairman and further distributed the petition to some online publications obviously with intent to embarrass and ridicule the Hon. Chairman. The Commission would have ignored these publications as they were mere tissues of lies, but for the need to put the record straight, disabuse the minds of innocent Nigerians and protect the integrity of both the Commission and its Hon. Chairman.
The Commission’s official position on the petition is hereby presented below: We confirm that as a build up to the 2015 General Elections, the Commission relying on provisions of its Establishment Act, sought for funding from various sources but received only the sum of N350 million from a source for the training of Monitors for the exercise and monitoring of the conduct of Policemen deployed for election duties during the elections. This was not the first time the Commission was engaging in this exercise as it had previously monitored Police conducts since 2003 General Elections. The Commission sought and received approval from the Bureau of Public Procurement to engage experts/consultants to train the staff of the Commission and other stakeholders it intended to deploy on the monitoring exercise.
We note that although the Commission had initially scheduled trainings in Lagos for Staff and other auxiliary personnel such as NYSC members, IT students, Policemen and some Members of the Police Community Relations Committee that were to be deployed in the South West for the exercise and the same for Kano for those to be deployed to the North and Abuja for the intended remaining Monitors for the effective coverage of 774 Local Government Areas of the country. It could not go ahead with the plan because the approval from Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) came late. We received BPP approval on 23/3/2015 while the Staff was billed to depart to their states of deployment on 25/3/2015. Therefore the Staff could only be trained for one day i.e. 24/3/2015 on what to do, expect and what their duties should be. The Staff strength of the Commission is 387 excluding National Youth Corps Members and IT personnel. But the issue is that the Commission had earlier intended to source for auxiliary staff to assist it monitor the exercise for wider and effective coverage.
We want to put it on record that there was no expenditure of the sum of N275, 525, 000 for the training of the Commission’s staff for the Monitoring exercise. There was no way the Commission could have invested N275, 525,000 on training alone that does not include the payment of Duty Tour Allowances, travel allowances and other benefits to Staff for the exercise itself. It should also be noted that the expenditures were drawn from the N350 million received by the Commission. As at today the Commission still has a balance of N133,641,795.49 in its special account for the exercise.
A break-down of the expenditures is as follows:
Amount Received – N350,000,000.00
DTA and Travelling expenses for Staff for the Monitoring exercise – N180,957,000.00
DTA for Staff Training for one day – N6,902,000.00
iii. Payments to Consultants – N28,361,654.01
Telephone lines and Handsets for Staff – N792,500.00
Posters/handbills/ID Cards – N375,000.00
Total – – – N217,388,154
Balance – – – N132,611,845.99
All the payments were made into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. This is verifiable. The balance of N132,611,845.99 is in the bank account of the Commission. The Chairman has not touched any Kobo of the money. This is also verifiable.
The Commission organised a one day training programme for its Staff which involved all the personnel deployed for the monitoring of Police conduct during the elections. Payments made for this training covered only one day. It can be verified. The allegation that the Hon. Chairman has severally collected money under the pretext of travelling abroad for official duties without doing so is patently false and actionable. The Chairman has also not used any Special Assistant nor Personal Assistant to defraud the government as there are laid down rules guiding the engagement of such aides which the Commission has followed religiously till date.
We consider the petition by Mr. Aaron as fictitious, frivolous and an affront on the Public Service Rules which clearly provides procedures for an aggrieved staff to pursue his/her grievance. The Commission is presently looking into the rules and will surely allow the law to take its course.
The Commission considers these allegations very serious and has therefore requested the appropriate agencies to investigate them for the benefit of Nigerians. Aaron Kaase is not a whistle blower, but a drowning criminal. As Protocol Officer for the Commission before his redeployment to the Press and Public Relations Unit, he defrauded somebody of the sum of One Million Naira (N1m) under the pretext of securing a USA visa for him in October 2014.
The matter was reported to Zone 7 Police Headquarters in FCT Abuja. Aaron was arrested, detained and finally charged to court and remanded in Kuje Prisons (See Saturday Vanguard May 16, 2015 page 6 captioned “PSC protocol officer arraigned for cheating”, also Leadership, May 16 2015 page 8). Based on this Aaron Kaase was written a letter dated 21st May, 2015 suspending him from duty in accordance with Rule No. 030406 of the Public Service Rules.
Aaron Kaase’s false and malicious accusations against the Hon. Chairman of the Police Service Commission was his futile way of grabbing a non-existing fact to get back at the Commission and the Staff for suspending him from duty over his criminal escapades.
Okiro in N275m election funds fraud
By OHIA ISRAEL