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We’re probing diversion of COVID-19 funds – ICPC

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it is investigating alleged cases of fraud in the management of COVID-19 funds and distribution of relief materials.

NAN quoted Akeem Lawal, the commission’s director of operations, as saying this during a virtual meeting the ICPC had with stakeholders on Thursday.

The theme of the meeting was “COVID-19 Funds Management and Monitoring: Preventing Slide into Old Habits.”

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Lawal said some of the cases had to do with some government institutions in charge of the release and distribution of grains from the reserve.

The director said some state governments are using the COVID-19 pandemic to exploit authorities at the local level, adding that there is a case where emergency funds were diverted into a private bank account.

“In all cases of infraction, culprits will be investigated and prosecuted,” the director said.

Earlier, Bolaji Owasanoye, ICPC chairman, said the commission has set up a committee to monitor use of COVID-19 funds “because this period could trigger a high level of corruption.”

“We appointed observers at a request of the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 to focus on some key MDAs who will be involved in procurement and in response to COVID-19,” the chairman said.

“We followed it up by issuing some prevention guidelines which were not mandatory but took from financial regulations and laws to guide MDAs on what we will be doing.

“The accountant-general office followed by issuing very comprehensive frameworks for the management of COVID-19 funds under the treasury single account (TSA).”

Owasanoye said the commission would also monitor all donations made by the private sector to provide support to curb the spread of the disease.

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