THE Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has arrested and quizzed a retired Justice of the Court of Appeal, Justice Mohammed Ladan Tsamiya, for alleged bribery scandal. Tsamiya was interrogated for allegedly demanding N200 million bribe from Mr. Nnamdi Orji in exchange for a favourable judgement in a
National Assembly election case that was pending before the Owerri Division of the Court of Appeal. A statement by ICPC spokesperson Mrs. Rasheedat A. Okoduwa (mni) said the judge committed the offence in 2015.
The statement said: “The offence, which violates Section 10 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000 was alleged to have been committed in 2015, when the retired Justice asked Mr. Orji, who was the candidate for All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) for Arochukwu/Ohafia Federal Constituency, to give him N200 million to enable him influence the court’s decision in his favour. “Orji had approached the Court of Appeal, Imo State Division to seek redress in a case involving an alleged inflation of the result of election in Arochukwu Local Government Area of Abia State, which he had earlier lost to his opponent, Mr. Nkole Ndukwe, at the National Assembly Election Tribunal. “Tsamiya was alleged to have convinced the appellant of getting a favourable judgement from the court upon the payment of the money.
“Tsamiya has since been granted bail by the commission upon the fulfillment of his bail conditions, even as investigation continues.” The National Judicial Council (NJC) had on September 29, 2016 recommended compulsory retirement of Tsamiya, who was the Presiding Justice of the Ilorin Division of the Court of Appeal, and other judges. The NJC said: “Hon. Justice Mohammed Ladan Tsamiya of the Court of Appeal was recommended for compulsory retirement from office to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, pursuant to the ‘findings’ by the council in the petition written by Nnamdi Iro Oji against him and Hon. Justices Husseini Muktar, F. O. Akinbami and J. Y. Tukur, all Justices of Court of Appeal, who sat on Election Appeal Panel in the Owerri Division of the court during the 2015 general elections.”
The ICPC, in a separate statement, said it has recovered 10 houses, which include blocks of flats within the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and N18 million from civil servants in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF) and undeserving beneficiaries over alleged breach of the Monetisation Policy. The Federal Government, in 2005, under the Monetisation Policy of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, sold some of its houses occupied by federal civil servants to them, in order to cut down the cost of governance.
The commission’s statement reads: “In recent times, ICPC has been inundated with petitions from patriotic Nigerians, drawing the attention of the commission to allegations of widespread abuse of the policy by beneficiaries and some government workers. “The commission, while acting on the petitions, discovered through preliminary investigation that a number of civil servants in OHCSF, who benefited from the policy, had not paid for the houses since 2005. While some had completely defaulted, others owe sizeable balance of the money. “The investigation further revealed that 32,305 houses were captured by the Committee on the Sale of Government Properties while 24,345 were eventually sold to beneficiaries. “However, civil servants in some government agencies, notably OHSCF and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) have allegedly turned the policy into a shoddy business with the aim of defrauding the Federal Government.
“ICPC also found out that some public servants and government agencies were concealing government properties and collecting rent on same without the consent of the Federal Government, which allegedly flouts the intent of the policy that primarily focuses on divesting government’s interest from providing housing for its employees. “Further discovery by ICPC has shown that staff in OHSCF allocated some of the houses to undeserving beneficiaries, who were not public servants at the time of the exercise and some of the properties are yet to be allocated. “The investigation has so far yielded fruitful result with the recovery of N18,031,000 from some civil servants and a host of companies, including Montgomery & Campbell Ltd and SICCONS, which has been paid into the coffers of the government.”