Posted by News Express | 20 August 2014 | 3,277 times
“Following intense investigation and full disclosure of relevant facts and documentary evidence sighted by us, we can for the time being state without equivocations that we are unable to trace the existence of any ghost participants in the annual national youth service scheme run by the management of the National Youth Service Corps [NYSC]. We have also been shown evidence of refund of unspent funds by the current management.”
With the above affirmation, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has stated that it has suspended its decision for the time being of dragging the management of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and minister of Finance Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and relevant anti-graft bodies following allegations of fraudulent practices brought to our attention by some concerned petitioners working in the NYSC.
Specifically, two weeks back, HURIWA based on a petition at our disposal from anonymous insiders from the NYSC disclosed our plan to proceed to the Office of the Coordinating minister of the Economy and the anti-graft agencies if we are satisfied with the veracity of the allegations of over N90 billion fraudulent diversion of unspent funds by the management of the NYSC and also the allegation of the existence of a properly coordinated scheme that conceals the existence of ghost corpers in the annual exercises.
In a statement to the media by the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Ms Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA stated thus: “It would be recalled that our office received a petition from some concerned Nigerians with knowledge about the workings of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) as insiders which primarily centered on two allegations- fraud and existence of ghost corpers in the scheme over the years. Based on the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act we approached the management of the NYSC in Abuja and we have since sighted some high profile authentic auditing information indicating that in the last couple of years some huge unspent funds were refunded to the coffers of the federation. Based on the information at our disposal from official sources for now we can conclude that we have not seen any justification to claim conclusively for now that there is any trace of the existence of ghost participants in the annual national youth service scheme. We were also shown documentary evidence indicating that the participants are paid the correct feeding stipends as approved by the Federal Government of Nigeria. Except other superior information is made available to us, we can for the time being state that we have suspended our decision to so proceed with our mechanism of advocacy for a probe of these allegations. We will however continue to press ahead with our demand through the FOI for full disclosure to be made to us by way of documentary evidence and not just sighting of these official documents which were said to be classified.”
•Photo shows NYSC Director General, Brig.-Gen. Johnson Olawumi.
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