THE Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), a coalition of over 150 anti-corruption organization, has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to beam its eagle eyes on the financial records of the Minister of Communication, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, following allegations of corruption levelled against the Minister by one of its aides.
In a petition addressed to the acting Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, and signed by CSNAC’s Chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, the Network said the EFCC should probe the Minister where necessary to ensure that all loopholes that encourage corrupt practices communication ministry and sector as a whole are blocked and prevented.
The petition reads in part: “CSNAC is seriously concerned by the allegations of an employee of the Minister, accusing him of acquiring, within a space of 29months, 12 luxury houses in Abuja, Lagos, and Ibadan. The staff also claimed that few months ago, the minister bought a brand new N93 million printing press, bought over 25 luxury vehicles for himself, his family members, concubines, and cronies, despite having eight official vehicles attached to his office.
“This allegation was reported by Saharareporters on March 22, 2018 through a letter written by the staff, Mr. Victor Oluwadamilare, Special Assistant Media to Mr. Adebayo Shittu. Mr. Oluwadamilare had accused his boss, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, of greed and wickedness. The allegations were contained in a letter to the minister dated March 12, 2018 demanding payment of his emoluments to the tune of N13million, allegedly owed by the Minister from November 2015 to March 2018.
“The aide equally accused the minister of spending way beyond his legitimate earnings on his gubernatorial ambition in Oyo State. Investments running into hundreds of millions of Naira in his less than three years in the office are said to be scattered all over Oyo State. He equally accused Mr. Shittu of collecting several millions in travel expenses and estacodes of more than $800,000 since his inauguration as minister less than 3 years ago.”
CSNAC noted further that, “Recently, the same minister was accused of acquiring properties way above his legitimate salaries in Abuja in the media. CSNAC believes that your commission should take appropriate measures as may be necessary to investigate the allegations to establish any case of financial impropriety, breach of trust and abuse of office. The allegations had assumed a national embarrassment and obviously on blight on the anti-corruption agenda of the agenda. It is a clear departure from the assumed Spartan image of the current government.
“CSNAC is hereby calling on you to use your good offices to beam your eagle eyes on the financial records of Mr. Adebayo Shittu (communication Minister of the President) and to probe where necessary to ensure that all loopholes that encourage corrupt practices communication ministry and sector as a whole are blocked and prevented,” the petition said.