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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has begun the recovery of funds from some staff of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), who have agreed to return illicit Duty Tour Allowances (DTA) paid into their accounts by the management of the FIRS. Daily Trust learnt yesterday from sources familiar with the investigation that EFCC agents are recovering large sums of money from both the junior and middle-level staff involved in the scam.
It was learnt the EFCC initially discovered that over N2.1 billion was paid as DTA in the salary accounts of forty staff. A source said, “However, proper scrutiny was carried out, after normal salaries and normal DTA was deducted and what was paid to them was N1,060 billion.” It was said a substantial amount is already being recovered from the forty staff in this batch after their arrest and interrogation. About twenty of them were detained but all are now on administrative bail. A source said the EFCC seized all their passports, after committing them to pay back what they illegally received within a timeframe. It was learnt yesterday that the Director of Finance, Mohammed Auta was detained and grilled over the payments. Daily Trust gathered yesterday that the anti-graft agency may arrest the Director FIRS support services group Peter Hena who approved and authorized the payments and the main beneficiary of the scam. Sources said Hena, who was supposed to have returned to Abuja on 6 April, sent in his resignation letter, has also claimed to be sick and in need of medical attention abroad. As Coordinating Director, he has supervisory oversight over the Human Capital Management and Development, Finance and Accounts, Revenue Accounting, Facility, Security and Safety Management and Procurement Departments. It was learnt he authorized the payments despite being on N2 million approval limit. It was alleged that Hena authorizes several N1.9 million payments to a particular account in one day, which makes up the huge figures received by some staff. It was learnt some of the staff received varying amounts as DTA within the period being investigated from 2017 to date and did not travel. A source said amounts ranging from N50 million, N40 million, N101 million and N55 million were found to have been paid into the accounts of the staff. It was also learnt the that EFCC may look into the award of contracts and adherence to procurement processes in the FIRS.
Source: Daily trust