Abba Moro, four others to be docked Monday over fatal N677m immigration recruitment scam

Former Interior Minister, Abba Moro, will be arraigned before Justice Anwuli Chikere of the Federal High Court Abuja on Monday to answer charges of abuse of procurement process and diversion of public funds preferred against him and four others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The EFCC is slamming 11-count charge him and four others for allegedly collecting N676.6 million from 676,675 job seekers in the fatal Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) recruitment exercise in which at least 20 people lost their lives in 2014.

Moro, a permanent secretary in the ministry at the time, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia, a deputy director in the ministry, F. O Alayebami, one Mahmood Ahmadu (at large), and the contracting firm given the recruitment job, Drexel Tech Nigeria Ltd, are being accused of defrauding 676, 675,000 Nigerian applicants of N676,675,000.

The EFCC said N202,500,000 of the amount was spent on buying No. 1, Lahn Crescent, Maitama, Abuja while N120, 100,000 was used to upgrade No.2, Sigure Close, Off Monrovia Street, Wuse II Abuja.

The commission said the recruitment firm, Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited and Mahmood Ahmadu converted N101, 200,000 to US dollars for personal use. The accused are also alleged to have contravened the Public Procurement Act, No. 65 of 2007 in the contract awards by not following the necessary procedure laid down by the government.

The commission said the recruitment firm, Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited, and Mahmood Ahmadu converted N101,200,000 to US dollars for personal use.

According to the EFCC, the contract was awarded through selective tendering procedure by invitation of 4 (Four) firms without seeking the approval of the Bureau for Public Procurement, contrary to sections 40, 42 and 43 of the Public Procurement Act, No. 65 of 2007 and punishable under section 58 of the same act.

Drexel is also alleged to be unregistered and had no legal capacity to enter into the said contract.

There is also said to be no budgetary provision for the exercise in the 2014 Federal Capital budget hence the applicants were made to bear the responsibility of funding the project without approval of the Board contrary to section 22(5) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act 2000, the charge said.