Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have made a startling revelation in the ongoing probe of Senator Iyiola Omisore.
In a recent raid of his Abuja residence, a document showing how N60billion was voted for extraneous overhead expenses for some senators and members of the House of Representatives in the Sixth Assembly was uncovered.
Omisore, former deputy governor of Osun State, was the chairman
of the Senate Appropriation Committee between 2007 and 2011.
EFCC is probing the document to identify the senators and members of the House of Representatives who got the largesse, The Nation reports.
A source said operatives stumbled on the â€œbudget paddingâ€ document in Omisoreâ€™s bedroom and the the former deputy governor of Osun asked EFCC operatives why they were interested in the document.
The source said: â€œIn the course of searching Omisoreâ€™s residence at 1, Kainji Crescent in Maitama, Abuja, we stumbled on a document on budget padding worth about N60 billion for some Senators and House of Representatives.
â€œImmediately we picked the document, Omisore
was a bit concerned. He asked our operatives to limit their
investigation to only the N1.310billion from the Office of the
National Security Adviser (ONSA) but we insisted that we are
interested in the document.
â€œIt contained a list of budget padding of about N60billion and how it was spread for some Senators and members of the House of Representatives from 2007 and 2011.
â€œA crack team is already looking into the details of the padding of the budget and the affected Senators and Representatives.
â€œCertainly, as a former chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriation, we expect him to speak on the document.
â€œThe fact that Omisore proved difficult before we arrested him has actually paid off for EFCC. His stubbornness has assisted in opening new investigation frontiers.
â€œIf he had honoured our invitation as a gentleman, we might not have been able to get these new areas of investigation.â€
To get to the root of the matter, the EFCC has written to the management of the National Assembly to explain why it paid N2.5billion to Omisore when he was a serving senator.
But the management, in a response to the EFCC signed by a top official, said Omisore was not awarded any contract or engaged for any service to have warranted such a payment.
In a follow-up letter, the anti-graft agency mandated the management to be more â€œforthcoming on what the N2.5billion was meant for to have earned remittance into the account of the ex-deputy governorâ€, adding that it has up till the end of this week to clarify the â€œpurpose of such a huge paymentâ€ to an individual.
There were indications that the commission may quiz two former National Assembly and Senate Clerks as well as some management staff in the Finance Department, including directors.
The source added: â€œWe were able to detect that the sum in question was transferred from an account of the National Assembly to Omisoreâ€™s account.
â€œWe got a letter from the management that Omisore did not at any time execute any contract for the National Assembly or offer any service to be able to earn such a payment.
â€œWe have written another letter to the management to explain why the money was paid to Omisore. We want those in the relevant desk behind the payment to guide the EFCC accordingly.
â€œWe are expecting a detailed response from the management of the National Assembly, including vouchers for the payment and authorisation. Once we get their response, we will invite those connected with it.
â€œThis was why we secured a court warrant to detain Omisore to get to the roots of this latest payment.â€
SOURCE : DAILYPOST