kemi adeosun
Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, Finance Minister
The Sun News - Indications emerged at the weekend that in the course of investigating how 34,000 ghost workers got on the fed­eral payroll, a three-ring syn­dicate has been uncovered.

Last month, Finance Minis­ter, Mrs Kemi Adeosun blew open 23,000 ghost workers on the payroll.

She said in the aftermath of deploying the Bank Verifica­tion Number (BVN), 23,000 ghost workers were discov­ered, saving the Federal Gov­ernment lost N2.29 billion per month.

Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, disclosed this to State House correspondents on Wednesday at the end of a meeting of the Federal Execu­tive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Bu­hari. Less than three weeks af­ter that, another 11,000 ghost workers were also discovered on government’s payroll.

The 23,000 ghost work­ers, Daily Sun gathered at the weekend, were run by a three-ring syndicate of top civil servants in federal min­istries, departments and agen­cies (MDAs), bankers and some “big people outside the federal civil service.”

It was also learnt yesterday that some of the civil servants implicated in perpetrating the fraud of the initial 23,000 ghost workers here been picked up by the Economic and Financial Crimes Com­mission (EFCC).

Some of them, it was learnt, reported at the anti-graft agency’s office in Abu­ja, last week, to explain their roles in the scam.

A source at the anti-cor­ruption agency said yesterday that, “the EFCC has started picking some of them. In the course of writing their state­ments we discovered that it was a three-ring syndicate running the scam.

“From documents avail­able, we saw how 500 sal­ary accounts were opened in the names of civil servants. In most cases, some of the accounts bear just one name while the common thread which bound them was that they were opened in just one day at the branch of a genera­tion bank.”

With that discovery, the second stage of the investi­gation will start today, it was gathered.

Another source disclosed that the second leg of the in­vestigation, starting today, will be to invite top manag­ers of banks where some of the fictitious accounts were opened as well as those out­side the civil service whose names were mentioned in the course of the initial investiga­tion.
When contacted, EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren said he was not aware of the investigation and also added that even if the investigation had started, it was not pos­sible to put sensitive informa­tion in the public domain until it was necessary to do so.

Media Adviser to the Finance minister, Festus Akanbi did not pick calls to his line. But, a source in the ministry said “some of the banks where the salary accounts were opened are cooperating with us and the EFCC. Some of our ogas were invited for questioning and we learnt that some of them will be reporting at the EFCC this week.”

On March 9, Adeosun told State House Correspondents, after the Federal Execu­tive Council (FEC) meeting that her ministry was using what she called computer techniques to investigate the fresh 11,000 affected cases.

She said as soon as inves­tigations are concluded, “Ni­gerians would be informed of the amount saved and the number of names removed again from the payroll.

“Again, we are using com­puter techniques to identify those who we need to inves­tigate…”

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