By Rotimi Ijikanmi
Abuja – The Federal Government has raised the alarm over an orchestrated plot to discredit the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC) and by extension the government’s anti-corruption efforts.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made this known in Abuja on Tuesday in a statement signed by Mr Segun Adeyemi, his Special Adviser.
He said that the PACAC’s letterhead and stamp as well as the signature of its chairman were being forged and used to contact people within and outside the country.
The minister said that those behind the plot were using ‘419ers’ and their ilk to portray the country’s highest advisory committee against corruption in bad light.
He said that in a particular instance, a letter purportedly signed by the PACAC
Chairman, Prof. Itse Sagay, was being sent to unsuspecting persons to extort money from them.
Mohammed said that the letter entitled, ”Presidential Investigation on Outstanding Federal Government External Contract Debts”, and a form to be filled for that purpose were being sent out by the perpetrators to extort money.
”For the avoidance of doubt, the president has not mandated PACAC to investigate and recommend for payment some outstanding contract debts, as contained in the letter in question.
“The Federal Government has also not approved the disbursement of 850 million dollars in the 2017 budget for payment of the so-called external contract debt.
”We are therefore using this medium to inform Nigerians and foreigners alike to disregard such letters,” he said.
The minister said that “Sagay and all the members of his committee are men and women of proven integrity.’’
He said they would never allow the committee to be used for any activity that was not within its mandate or that was capable of weakening the anti-corruption fight of the administration. (NAN)