The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to a publication entitled, “How EFCC’s Magu Diverted N702m, 13 Months Salaries of New Operatives”, which appeared in an online news platform, Denisaurus. The publication among others alleged that the Commission failed to pay the entitlements of Cadet Officers who recently completed their training at the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA.
Quoting an unnamed staff of the Commission, the publication stated that “Mr. Magu has refused to pay the officers of DSC7 their entitlements which include; their salary arrears of 13 months under training, which was budgeted for in 2016 and 2017 budget as their date of appointment reads 18th March 2017, their 28 days allowance for being posted to polar regions.”
It also alleged that staff contributions to the Commission’s Cooperative Society was diverted to the construction of the head office building of the Commission, making it impossible for staff members to access their contributions.
Coming from a platform that has become notorious for spreading falsehood about the EFCC, these allegations ought to be ignored by the Commission. However the EFCC is constrained to respond considering that the issues raised touches on the welfare of staff, particularly young officers who are just starting their careers with the Commission.
For the avoidance of doubt, the Commission wishes to state that there is NO N702milllion that was diverted from the salaries of any group of employees of the Commission. The idea of diversion of salaries of newly recruited cadet officer may well be part of a plot to incite impressionable young officers to mutiny against the Commission’s leadership.
It is important to state that the Commission as a law enforcement agency has established protocols and regulations on the administration of emolument to all cadres of staff. Cadet Officers in training are entitled to allowances and this was duly paid to not only the Detective Superintendent Course 7 officers who completed their training on May 11, but to officers of Detective Inspector and Detective Assistant cadre who completed their trainings much earlier.
By the EFCC regulations, these officers are not entitled to any 28 days allowance during training and the mandatory one year internship after training. As a result of this policy, the Commission maintains transit camps in all its offices where officers on internship are accommodated.
It is equally mischievous to alleged that “Magu has unanimously (sic) resolved not to pay officers their June 2018 salary, as other staff of the Commission have been paid”. While it is true that officers of the DS Course 7 are yet to receive their June Salary, the delay was caused by the simple fact that they were not enrolled into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, early enough to collect their June Salary. They have since been enrolled and would be paid their entitlement.
Equally false is the claim that Police Officers on secondment are being owed salaries of between five and seven months. Police officers attached to the Commission are paid by their mother agency, the Nigeria Police. What they collect from the EFCC is the differential between their police pay and the salary of officers of equivalent rank in the EFCC. This differential unfortunately has not been paid to a few officers because the funds come from a separate platform from the Federal Ministry of Finance.
Perhaps the most ridiculous of the allegations is the claim that the Commission illegally diverted funds of the EFCC Staff Cooperative Society to finance the construction of its new head office. This is preposterous against the obvious fact that funds were appropriated for the project by the National Assembly. The Commission has no need for cooperative money to build its offices.
The challenge being experienced by members of staff in accessing loans from the Cooperative arose from the dwindling resources available to the Society. This was caused by the Commission’s recent migration to the IPPIS platform which is configured to accept only statutory deductions, consequently monthly receipts by the Cooperative dropped. But it is a temporary disruption, which is already being addressed by the Finance and Account Department of the Commission.
How all these translate into Magu undermining the fight against corruption is a question only Denisaurus can answer. But the Commission wishes to assure the public that no amount of mischief will distract it from performing its patriotic duty to crush and rout corruption from Nigeria.