Reports say five top civil servants with the Kogi state government have been arrested because they allegedly diverted a total of N230 million pension fund.
They reportedly diverted the funds into their private use, according to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The diverted fund, according to the report, was part of money released by the administration of Captain Idris Wada for the payment of pensioners.
Confirming their arrest, the state accountant-general, Alhaji Yusuf Okala, who is also the chairman of the staff screening and verification committee, said the alleged crime was revealed while the committee engaged in its task.
“Yes, it is true. We have been able to recover N20 million from them through the efforts of the police command in the state,” he said.
Further confirming the development, Alhaji Ahmed Ododo, the state auditor-general, vowed that the money would be recovered from the suspects while they would be prosecuted.
Currently, over 9,000 retirees in the state are said to be owed up to five months pension arrears.
The committee reportedly discovered some ghost workers and pensioners while it is working to block every drain pipes through which public funds filter out of government coffers.
Ododo said: “The screening of workers and pensioners is going to be a continuous exercise.
“No authentic staff or pensioner will have any cause to fear.
“Governor Yahaya Bello-led administration in the state has high regard for both workers and pensioners.
“The ongoing verification is not aimed at victimising anybody but an effort targeted at saving money for the state to take adequate care of its responsibilities.”