Fourteen persons on Monday told the House of Representatives committee investigating job racketeering at the Federal Character Commission (FCC) that they had been receiving salaries from the Federal Government without job placements.
They said the salaries were paid on the platform of the Federal Government’s Integrated Payroll and Personal Information System (IPPIS).
They also told the committee that they paid money to Mr Haruna Kolo, former FCC’s IPPIS Desk Officer and Chief of Protocol to the FCC Chairman, Mrs Farida Dankaka for the consideration.
One of them, Mr Gbadamosi Jalo, said Kolo took him to the IPPIS office and registered him on its portal and that he had been receiving salaries since then.
He said he had not been assigned to any government ministry, department or agency, though he received an appointment letter supposedly issued by the National Institute of Oceanography.
He said he paid some money to Kolo to get the consideration and that Kolo told him that the money he paid was received on behalf of the FCC chairperson.
Jalo said one Mr Gambo Yisha’u, driver to the Commissioner representing Taraba at the FCC also confirmed to him that such money ended up with Mrs Dankaka.
Twelve other witnesses made similar submissions alleging that they paid money to Kolo, but had not been posted to any ministry, department or agency of government.
In his testimony, a potential beneficiary of the racket, Mr Musa Ibrahim, said he paid money to one Mr Abdullahi Azareh, who acted as the linkman to FCC commissioner representing Nasarawa State.
He said though the police in Nasarawa State arrested Azareh after a barrage of complaints and petitions, he was released upon intervention by FCC commissioners.
“We are victims of circumstances; the guy was arrested and detained for a few hours, but was released because he was working with the commissioner representing Nasarawa State at the FCC,’’ he said.
Chairman of the committee, Rep. Yusuf Gagdi, said earlier that the witnesses were invited after the committee got to know about their statements of account and payment to Kolo and after receiving their petitions.
He noted that while the committee was not a prosecuting agency, it would get to the root of the matter and recommend appropriate sanctions.
He berated IPPIS for its porosity.
“If Kolo was finding it easy to go to IPPIS to register payees without the knowledge of authorising officers, the IPPIS needed to answer a lot of questions,’’ he said.
Gagdi assured that the committee would scrutinise the bank accounts of all FCC commissioners and the accounts of those serving as their go-between.