August 7, 2023. Premium Times – Haruna Kolo, an ex-aide to the Chairperson of the Federal Character Commission, Muheeba Dankaka, has confessed to selling federal employment slots to job seekers at the directives of his former boss.
Mr Kolo made the confession on Monday while testifying before a House of Representatives ad hoc committee investigating job racketeering at ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
In his testimony, Mr Kolo alleged that Ms Dankaka set up a job racketeering ring, collecting money from job seekers.
He stated that to avoid digital trails, Mrs Dankaka insists on cash only.
“On the allegations of job racketeering, the FCC Chairman instructed me to liaise with one Mr Shehu who is a personal driver and PA to the Taraba State commissioner. As a desk officer, I am responsible to take whoever is employed to IPPIS for capturing. No one can go there without a letter from the chairman or Human Resource officer of FCC.
“When she came, she wrote a letter to the Accountant General instructing that no letter from FCC should be honoured except she signs the letter. So whenever there was new employment, she signs, gives to me and I take to the Accountant General’s office for capturing.
“Shehu is the one that brought those who paid monies to my account for the job, some paid N1 million others N1.5 million all to my personal account, my Eco bank account. She asked me to give cash to her which I did through POS so there is no evidence of transfer or anything,” he said.
Mr Kolo said the chairperson compensated him, alongside three others, with a job at the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) for the assignments he carried out. He said one of the beneficiaries is a sibling of Mrs Dankaka.
“The second allegation on my subsequent employment at AMCON. The job was a result of her personal favour to me. We were four in number, and she gave the appointment letters to Khadijah, Olushola and I.
“We all proceeded for an interview at AMCON headquarters in Abuja after which we were called upon for training on the 16th January 2023. After the training, Olushola and I were called to Lagos. Unfortunately, Khadijah, who is the chairman’s biological sister was rejected. The chairman accused me of being responsible for her rejection,” he narrated to the committee.
Mr Kolo also claimed that his life is under threat, and urged the committee to hold Ms Dankaka responsible if anything happened to him.
“Sir, I want this committee to know that after this sitting if anything happens to me, the FCC chairperson should be held responsible, ” Mr Kolo added.
Mrs Dankaka is facing allegations of corruption, nepotism and highheadedness in the handling of the commission. Most of the allegations are coming from commissioners in the commission.
Some commissioners had alleged that Mrs Dankaka has been demanding a percentage of employment slots from MDAs though she denied the claim, stating that it was a case of “corruption fighting back”.
Last week, she claimed that Mr Kolo and others forged her signature to give employment to people without her approval.
You ought to be arrested—Panel Chairman tells Kolo
Following the presentations, the Chairman of the Committee, Yusuf Gagdi (APC, Plateau), said the witness ought to have been arrested for aiding and facilitating corruption.
He ruled that Mr Kolo will appear before the Committee on Tuesday and assured him that nothing will happen to him.
“Federal Character, thank you for coming. Kolo appears here tomorrow. We are calling the other witnesses. We will allow you to do your work. Whosever that is found wanting will answer his father’s name, including Kolo Haruna.
“See Haruna Kolo, I am not saying anything will happen to you but by law, you are not supposed to leave here without being arrested. For a civil servant that has thirty-something million in his account that admitted publicly that you are serving as a front to aid corruption.
“So I am quiet, I think and I don’t want to take you up on that because we don’t want to be seen to be sentimental. We want to as much possible protect you to get evidence against you and against others,” Mr Gagdi said.
Federal Character Commission
The Commission is a creation of the Constitution with the power to ensure that the composition of the government reflects the federal character of the country.
The commission serves as a clearing house for employment by all government agencies.
Section 14(3) provides that “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.”
Section 4 of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) Act gives the commission the power “to work out an equitable formula, subject to the approval of the President, for the distribution of all cadres of posts in the civil and the public services of the Federation and of the States, the armed forces, the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies, bodies corporate owned by the Federal or a State Government and Extra-Ministerial Departments and parastatals of the Federation and States.”
Furthermore, section 5 of the Act provides that the FCC has the power to demand the details of all appointments.
“The Commission shall have the power to demand and receive returns on employment and socio-economic indices from any enterprise or body corporate and penalise any enterprise which does not comply with a request from the Commission,” section 5 (1e) of the Act reads.