According to SaharaReporters, Gabriel Okoko, a former member of the Board of the Directorate of Technical Cooperation In Africa, an agency of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been named in another case of fraud rocking the agency after he took money for an official foreign trip to Canada but failed to attend the event in question and remit the money to the government’s coffers.
SaharaReporters learnt from authentic sources that Okoko, who was the Director of Inspectorate Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was billed to travel in the first week of December 2019 on an official trip to Ottawa, Canada and was paid over N2 million as an estacode.
It was gathered that Okoko failed to go for the trip, which was approved by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, and also failed to remit the money he got from the ministry.
Authoritative sources stated that Okoko might have collected other monies from the government’s coffers, but the N2million could be confirmed at the moment.
“The trip was approved by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for an official trip to Ottawa, Canada. The officials were duly paid for the trip in the first week of December 2019. Gabriel Okoko who was supposed to lead the delegation to Canada in the second week of December 2019 did not carry out the trip and failed to refund the government. The sum of N2 million was paid to him as estacode,” the source said.
When contacted by SaharaReporters, Okoko did not refute the allegation but said he could not comment on the matter as he was a civil servant.
“As it is now, I am a civil servant and I cannot comment on this matter; go to the necessary office and they will give you what you want,” he said on Friday.
The director’s fraudulent act is coming weeks after SaharaReporters exposed how another director at the Ministry, Suleiman Momoh, was caught in a N10 million bribery scandal which was offered to secure his appointment.
SaharaReporters had reported that Momoh paid the money to a staff member of the Presidency in Aso Rock in January 2020 to ensure that he was made a director at the MFA because the former director at the DTCA was retiring.
Sources at the corruption-ridden DCTA had told SaharaReporters that the petition came to the attention of the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs but it was killed because “the minister’s boys also got shares of job racketeering money from the DCTA.”
The petition raised against Momoh is titled, “Complaint of Criminal Abuse of Office and Obtaining Money by False Pretence Against Suleiman Momoh.”