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42 staff of ICPC in certificate, age scandal

No fewer than fifty staff of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is enmeshed in certificate forgery and age falsification scandal.


No fewer than forty-two staff of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is enmeshed in certificate forgery and age falsification scandal.

Daily Trust, authoritatively gathered in a report.   

According to the report, the board’s subcommittee on verification of staff certificates and service records where discovered irregularities in their age and credentials with no fewer than 50 staff of the commission have so far appeared before the committee.

With many senior staff found to have been involved in the illegalities, Daily Trust learnt there was a grand plan by the board and management of the anti-graft agency to provide a soft landing for those found culpable in the scandal.

It was gathered that the conviction of an official of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Idowu Olamide, for forging a certificate to secure employment upgrade gave rise to the demand for the verification of staff certificates and service records.

ICPC in October had secured the conviction of Olamide for using a forged National Diploma Certificate to secure an upgrade in his office, a development that was said to have prompted public demand on the need to investigate ICPC staff with similar allegations.

According to ICPC, Olamide was convicted of “Knowingly making a false statement, which is contrary to section 25(1) of Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 and punishable under Section 25(1) (b) of the same Act.”

Daily Trust said an insider at the commission also confided in the medium said that agitations for the commission to beam the searchlight on its staff also heightened with the case of an ex-female staff that left the ICPC to join the NDIC but was later sacked upon discovery that she was parading forged credentials.

Following such demands, the board of the ICPC constituted a three-man subcommittee on the verification of staff certificates and service records which led to the discovery of the age falsifications and certificate forgery.

The committee comprised Mrs. Olubukola Balogun, the board member representing Lagos; Bala Muhammad, the commission’s director of administration (who ironically was also asked to appear for verification) and Professor Musa Usman Abubakar, the commission’s secretary.

Nine out of the eleven directors of the commission were written to, including assistant commissioners, commissioners, deputy commissioners as well as directors, requesting them to come forward with their certificates and service records for verification.

According to a staff of the commission who spoke with Daily Trust in confidence said arising from the verification exercise the board discovered that all the directors, with the exception of two, had discrepancies in their records.

Sequel to the appearance of the senior staff, the verification committee was said to have issued a memo requesting forty-two (42) intermediate and junior staff to appear before them on October 26.

Officers from grade levels 12, 13, and 14 including; chief superintendents, assistant chief superintendents as well as superintendents were included.  

The memo, which contained a list of the affected staff, reads: “Officers’ names listed below are to appear before the board’s subcommittee on Tuesday, October 26, 2021, at the designated venue with originals and photocopies of the following documents: Birth certificates, relevant educational credentials; First School Leaving, Senior Secondary, NCE, ND, HND, first, second and or third-degree Certificate and NYSC Certificate as applicable, marriage certificate (as appropriate), evidence of change of name, letter of the first appointment, confirmation of appointment, last three promotion letters and current ID card.” 

‘Soft landing strategy’

The Chairman of the commission, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye SAN, worried by the discoveries from the verification exercise, especially its potential negative impact on the image of the commission, was said to have convened a general meeting with all staff and the board on October 22, 2021, after which a ‘soft landing’ strategy was adopted by the board. 

According to Daily Trust, the approach was intended to provide ‘soft landing’ and shield the affected staff from dismissal and criminal prosecution in line with extant civil service rules. 

It was also gathered that the cover-up became necessary because most of the affected staff, especially the senior ones, were either loyalists to the chairman or those employed under his watch.

‘The strategic memo’

The strategy was later communicated to all staff by the Secretary to the Commission via a memo issued on October 27, 2021.

The memo with ref. number: ICPC/GNA/148/21/078 titled: “Decisions of the 3rd General Staff Meeting with the Hon. Chairman in 2021” maintained that the board remained resolute to complete the process of the staff service records verification exercise.

“Staff who have attained 60 (sixty) years of age are strongly advised to put in their letters of voluntary retirement within the next one month and that such staff shall be entitled to the commission’s exit package as stipulated in the ICPC condition of service and no sanction shall be meted out on them,”

 “Staff who reduced their age in their records of service are advised to immediately regularise their records within a month to reflect their appropriate retirement time.”

“Staff on grade levels 16 and 17 who wish to voluntarily retire may apply to do so, and such staff shall be entitled to an incentivized exit package to be determined by the board.”, the memo reads.

Staff verification, a routine exercise: ICPC

When contacted by Daily Trust, ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua said the verification of staff credentials was a routine exercise.

She was said to have responded to a text message, however, failed to give further details.

She did not respond to further inquiries on the fate of those that might be found wanting from the verification exercise.

A management staff of the commission who spoke with Daily Trust off the record because he is not authorised to speak however said: “We have been prosecuting others of alleged corruption, including issues of certificate forgery. Therefore, the exercise was intended to put our house in other and go after others involved in similar allegations with clean hands.”


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