A group, the National Alliance for Transparency and Accountability (NATA), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to order an immediate investigation into alleged financial crimes and fraudulent practices in the National Pension Commission (PENCOM).
In a petition addressed to the President, the group alleged that the immediate past Chief Executive of, Chinelo Amazu-Ahonu, illegally withdraw N1 billion from PENCOM’s purse and invested the said amount in a “fragile” microfinance bank.
The petition, which was seen by Abusidiqu reads: “Our alliance sought through various correspondences to the regulatory agency in the past years, an explanation regarding the establishment of a N2 biilion PENCOM TV within the premises of the commission. We are renewing our call for investigation of the media project whose utility to Pencom is at best dubious.”
“Some of the Commission’s heads of departments are currently enmeshed in serial ethical violations and precarious legal tango with multiple banks.”
The group also raised concern over a Senior Staff of the Commission who claimed she was introduced to a commercial bank by her employees and consequently used to draw a N400 million personal loan which has now become the subject of a messy and sprawlin litigation.
“Documents from a Maitama High Court in Abuja (Motion No. FCT/HC/M/9133/16) has now listed PENCOM among the garnishees for the debt owed First Bank by Mrs. Grace Usoro of PENCOM. Mrs. Usoro who is the General Manager (National Data Bank) for PENCOM along with other associates launched into private businesses other than agriculture as allowed by the regulations and the code of her employment. Since 2015 till date, PENCOM has not deemed it fit to initiate any kind of inquiry into the conduct of Mrs.Usoro. All requests by our alliance for transparent disclosure on this matter were arrogantly ignored by the previous management,” the petition read.
The alliance also described the annual World Pension being hosted by PENCOM in 2014, 2015 and 2016, as a wasteful expenditure. The alliance alleged that about N1 billion was spent on the summit with no disclosure of accountability.
The petition partly read: “Our campaign for ethical public service is hereby requesting the current leadership of Pencom to respond to our correspondence seeking details on the global pension summit under the headship of Mrs. Usoro.”
NATA also highlighted the procurement of a prostate cancer machine stating that, “In the quest for probity, Mrs. Grace Usoro should clear the air regarding her role in the procurement of NI billion prostate cancer machine which has been inoperable and idle for years.”
The Alliance urged the present management “to immediately establish an edifying procedure and legal inquiry for re-ordering and cleansing the internal affairs of PENCOM.”
Among other requests to the president, the Alliance prays it receive responses to the various inquiries and correspondences that were initiated in previous years and recently on the aforementioned matters.
“The In tandem, our alliance implores the Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF), the Head of Service (HOS), the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the EFCC to ensure that the issues raised here are thoroughly investigated. Time is of the essence – this is our clarion call!,” the petition stated.