By FEMI OGUNSHOLA
A former staff member of the Federal Character Commission (FCC), Mr Haruna Kolo, has alleged that job seekers paid millions of naira into his personal account for remission to the commission’s Chairman, Mrs. Farida Dankaka.
Kolo said this on Monday in Abuja at the resumed investigative hearing of the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee probing job racketeering in Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government.
The committee is also probing the alleged mismanagement of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information (IPPIS) in MDAs.
Kolo said he usually approached Point of Sale (POS) agents to collect the money in cash to deliver to the chairman.
He further said that Dankaka appointed him as her Chief Protocol while he was working in FCC.
Kolo, who now works with the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), said that he saw the allegation against him, regarding job racketeering, in the media.
He said some of those who came to seek for job in the commission paid between N1 million and N5 million, depending on the MDAs.
He denied having been involved in job racketeering, alleging that he only acted on the instruction of Dankaka who, he said, was allegedly receiving the money in cash.
“She often gave me verbal instruction in respect of people paying for jobs and lodgment after the collection of the agreed amount.
“The money was always sent to my account which I subsequently cashed and sent to her in cash,” he said.
Kolo said his redeployment to AMCON was with the knowledge of the chairman of the commission.
“My going to AMCON was her personal favour to me and others that left FCC at the time,” he said.
He, however, accused the chairman of going after him when her sister was rejected at AMCON due to age factor.
Kolo said the sister in question was already 51 at the time she was offered the job at AMCON.
He said that he had been receiving several calls threatening his life and sought the protection of the committee.
He warned that the FCC chairman should be held responsible, should anything sinister happened to him.
Kolo also said that the chairman’s claim that FCC had not carried out recruitment since her assumption of office was not true.
He said that as a desk officer of IPPIS in FCC, he could confirm that the commission carried out recruitments at different times.
“I am the desk officer of IPPIS for FCC and over 300 employment letters were issued but those captured by FCC were few,” he said.
In a swift reaction to Kolo’s allegations, Dankaka said she never collected any money from Kolo as alleged.
She further said that it was a conspiracy between him and the other commissioners to tarnish her image.
Disturbed by the barrage of allegations, Dankaka immediately brought out a copy of the Holy Qur’an and swore never to have collected any money from Kolo as proceeds of job racketeering.
“I have never asked him to collect money from job seekers for me,” she said.
Responding to the issues, the Chairman of the committee, Rep. Yusuf Gagdi, told Kolo that the committee was in possession of evidence that he had N38.5 million in his account, which was withdrawn from POS.
He also said that N75 million was in Kolo’s accounts in Access Bank, UBA and Eco Bank as a proceeds of job racketeering
“Kolo was serving as a front for collecting money for job recruitments in the commission as against the service’s financial regulation and the extant law.
“The record I have about your account you don’t even have and the record of your service I have.
“We are not giving any judgment in FCC, we are still investigating.
“This committee will have to be judicial in nature.
“We knew why we asked Kolo to give us evidence.
“We must come out straight.
“We aren’t even talking about racketeering in other MDAs.
“Kolo, you are not supposed to leave here without being arrested.
“As a civil servant, you are not supposed to have such huge amount in your account,” the committee chairman said.