Deaconess Grace Gekpe, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture

Nigerian Permanent Secretary involved in alleged multimillion Naira frauds

* Petitioner alleges ‘fake’ budget appropriations for unexecuted programmes, projects by Perm Sec Deaconess Grace Gepke of Federal Ministry of Information and Culture

* Presidential Panel lists other individuals, organisations involved, submits report to President Muhammadu Buhari

Web Editor | ConsumerConnect

A petition has accused Deaconess Grace Gepke, Permanent Secretary (PS) of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in Abuja, FCT, of involvement in multimillion Naira frauds, using the tax payers’ money.

According to the document detailing the infractions as sighted by Sahara Reporters, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Honourable Minister for Information and Culture, was said to be instrumental in releasing millions of Naira for several unexecuted projects.

Report says that Clifford Ume, the petitioner, in the document addressed to the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP) to look into the activities, alleged that Deaconess Gepke has committed flagrant abuse of office and massive corrupt practices.Ume’s petition reads in part: “The alleged budget appropriation for programmes and projects excluding centres abroad and Abuja Carnival of the culture and tourism arm of the Ministry is N450m for both the 2017 and 2018 respectively.

“That the fake appropriation for Nigerian Cultural Centres abroad for 2013, 2017 and 2018 which became defunct since 2014 amounted to N113.6m.

“That the successive embezzlement of funds meant for the operations and maintenance of the purported fake cultural centres abroad dates back to 2013.

 

“That the Abuja Carnival budget appropriated for 2017 and 2018 amounted to N198.4m and till date the huge sum appropriated remains unaccounted for.”

The petitioner as well purported that the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, over the years, had been involved in private business operations through the use of Fehi Group of Companies belonging to Mr. Christian Gekpe, her brother who acts as a front to execute official events meant for the department in the Federal Government’s Ministry.

“She has been using her brother for the production of all the Abuja Carnival publicity materials since she assumed office as an Assistant Director in the said ministry and parastatals to launder the Ministry’s fund through Itigidi Raw Talent Hunt 2019, Easter Entertainment Fiesta held on April 20-21, 2019 which was appropriated in the ministry’s budget,” stated the document.

Source further indicates that subsequently, the SPIP in its report to President Muhammadu Buhari listed other individuals and corporate organisations that made suspicious payments into Gekpe’s account.

The Presidential Panel also said that it was analysing the involvement of Alhaji Mohammed in the fraudulent acts.

The SPIP report stated: “That Grace Gekpe is the present Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.

“That the total inflow into her UBA savings from inception since 2006 to 2010 amounted to N89, 831,916.00.

“That the total inflow into the Permanent Secretary Account of Eco Bank account is N299,385,428.92.

“That the total inflow into the Permanent Secretary’s Account in Heritage bank amounts to N6,071,285.00. That the total inflow in her domiciliary account in UBA from 2008 to 2009 amounts to $107,655.75.

“That most of the suspicious inflows in Grace Gekpe Isu were made by herself in millions of Naira.”

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