To face trial over recruitment scandal
Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abujaâ€¨
Former Minister of Interior, Mr. Abba Moro, former Permanent Secretary and a director in the ministry were yesterday in Abuja arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged financial crimes.
The Head, Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr. Wilson Uwujiaren, confirmed the arrest to THISDAY. He said the suspects were being detained at the commission’s office in Abuja.
THISDAY gathered that Moro and others were held in connection with the N650 million immigration recruitment scandal.
They were re-invited by the EFCC ahead of their arraignment in court.
“It is true that the former Minister of Interior, Moro, a former permanent secretary and a director are being detained,” Uwujiaren told THISDAY last night.
Asked when they would be charged to court, the anti-graft agency’s spokesperson said: “I know they will be charged to court; but I am not too sure of Tuesday.’’
About 6.5 million persons applied for the 5,000 immigration jobs in March 2014, but the conduct of the test led to the death of several applicants during stampedes in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Minna and other states.
Each applicant was said to have paid a non-refundable application fee of N1,000.
All efforts by the National Assembly to compel Moro to refund the N1,000 to the applicants fell on deaf ears. Over N520 million was realised in the exercise.
To complicate the process, the shoddy manner in which the test was conducted led to the death of about 20 applicants in various recruitment centres across the country. Many Nigerians had demanded for the sack of the former minister and the then Comptroller-General of Immigration, David Parradang, as well as their criminal prosecution for manslaughter.
Sources said the anti-graft agency had also quizzed Parradang on the same matter.
Although the former minister initially blamed the applicants for being “disorderly”, he later took responsibility, expressing regrets that his desire to eliminate favouritism through a competitive recruitment process had ended in a tragedy.
Calls by many Nigerians to sack Moro were rejected by former President Goodluck Jonathan who later offered jobs to the families of the victims.source:THIS DAY LIVE