The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on Tuesday received 17 official vehicles recovered from the agency’s ex-officials by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
ICPC disclosed that some of the ex-workers of FAAN wanted to take some of those vehicles as part of their retirement benefits but were stopped by the commission.
The keys to the vehicles were handed over to Saleh Dunoma, the Managing Director of FAAN, by Shintema Binga, the ICPC Zonal Commissioner, South-west at the agency’s headquarters in Lagos.
Speaking shortly before the presentation of the vehicles, Binga, who was represented by the Chairman of ICPC, Musa Islam Abubakar, said ICPC was in FAAN in furtherance of its partnership and collaboration with the authority over the years, particularly in this instance of handing over the vehicles that they have recovered.
Binga said the collaboration started when FAAN being in partnership with ICPC to fight corruption realised the need that whenever there are incidences of corrupt practices or things that could lead to corruption practices, they call on the ICPC’s attention.
“In this instance, we were informed that certain officials of the Authority, having completed their tenure of office or who being disengaged left with the authority’s vehicles that ordinarily they shouldn’t have gone with.
“The outcome of that collaboration is why we are here today. It is not just the vehicles we are handing over today. Some of them were parked in our headquarters in Abuja while one of them was parked in our Lagos office. It is part of the ongoing process of the recovery,” the zonal commissioner said.
Although, Binga said that not all the vehicles have been returned, but that ICPC felt it was necessary they bring them back to FAAN so that they can be put to use instead of parking the vehicles and allowing them rot away. He however, assured the workers that ICPC will be able to deliver the remaining ones in good time.
In his response, Dunoma who was represented by Salisu Daura, the Director of Engineering and Maintenance, appreciated ICPC for the vehicles recovery.
Daura said the vehicles are vital to FAAN’s operations, adding that what has transpired has debunked the prevalent notion that whenever ICPC seizes any item, that they don’t return it.
“We want to ask like Oliver Twist. There are more still remaining and a lot of officials are incapacitated as we are a self sustained agency. We plead on you to assist us recover the other ones,” Daura said.
According to FAAN senior officials who were present, FAAN has a policy whereby official vehicle owners buy them off when leaving the authority. They however stressed that the vehicles recovered are not guided with that policy as those particular vehicles were procured with an auto loan facilitated by First Bank of Nigeria during the time of Stella Oduah as Minister of Aviation in 2013.
Stating that there are still older vehicles that officials could buy up when leaving, the officials noted that FAAN is not the owner of those vehicles and therefore is not in a position to give them out.