A former Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System desk officer at the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Haruna Kolo, accused of collecting bribes from job seekers in exchange for employment, owned up to the allegation.
This came as he admitted to receiving over N75 million from desperate job seekers on the orders of the FCC’s Chairman.
Kolo made the revelation on Monday, August 7, 2023, during a House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigation into the mishandling of the IPPIS by federal ministries, departments, and agencies, parastatals, and tertiary institutions.
Kolo stated that the FCC boss told him to transfer the money to his (Kolo’s) personal account and pay her in cash, which he did several times at her residence.
The former IPPIS desk officer told legislators that he left the FCC on November 2, 2022, to join the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria but ended up receiving FCC wages twice.
He went on to say that the irregularity was reported to the Human resources Officer, who assured him that the problem would be resolved.
He said, “When she came to the FCC as the Executive Chairman, she appointed me as a protocol officer, and I carried out my duty diligently.
“On the allegations of job racketeering, the FCC Chairman instructed me to liaise with one Mr. Shehu, who is a personal driver and Personal Assistant to the Taraba State Commissioner. As a desk officer, I was responsible for taking whoever was employed to IPPIS for capture. No one could go there without a letter from the Chairman or Human resources Officer of the FCC.
“When she came, she wrote a letter to the Accountant General of the Federation, instructing that no letter from the FCC should be honoured unless she signs the letter. So, whenever there was new employment, she signed it, gave it to me, and I took it to the Accountant General’s office for capture.
“Shehu is the one who brought those who paid money to my account for the job; some paid N1 million, others N1.5 million, all to my personal account, my Ecobank account. She asked me to give her cash, which I did through POS. So, there is no evidence of a transfer or anything.
“On the allegation of working at seven places, I was never at any time involved in seven jobs. They are making the allegation based on an assumption.”
He further stated that “The second allegation regarding my subsequent employment at AMCON was a result of her personal favour to me. We were four in number, and she gave the appointment letter to me, Kadijah, and Olushola. We all proceeded for an interview at AMCON headquarters in Abuja, after which we were called upon for training on January 16, 2023.
“After the training, Olushola and I were called to Lagos. Unfortunately, Kadijah, who is the chairman’s biological sister, was rejected. The Chairman accused me of being responsible for her rejection.
“I see no reason why the chairperson would make allegations of such magnitude against me. I have been threatened, even at gunpoint, and have had to leave Abuja.
“Sir, I want this committee to know that after this sitting, if anything happens to me, the FCC chairperson should be held responsible,” Kolo added.
In response, the committee’s chairman, Yusuf Gagdi, pledged to do everything possible to uncover the truth and make it public for Nigerians.
“This committee will not sit down and watch taxpayers’ money being embezzled.
“I know why we were asking Kolo to give us evidence, and we know why we were deferring this sitting for other witnesses alleged to have had financial dealings with the FCC.
“Kolo will appear here tomorrow (Tuesday). We are calling the other witnesses. We will allow you to do your work. Whoever is found wanting will answer his father’s name, including Kolo Haruna,” he said.
The committee adjourned its sitting to Tuesday, August 8, 2023.