Huge crowd loot palliatives in Benin

By Benson Michael

In the aftermath of the looting spree that ensued as a result of the protests across the country, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) is set to commence the investigation of the sources of looted items.

This is in response to increasing public demands on the Commission to investigate and uncover the rationale behind the storage of palliative materials meant for the suffering masses in warehouses across the country which were supposed to be distributed to the people.

It should be recalled that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission had earlier in the year taken proactive measures to prevent corruption in the administration of the COVID-19 funds by setting up a monitoring team that was charged with the responsibility of preventing possible abuse.

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In addition to the above, the Commission drew up “Guidelines for PTF Management of COVID-19 Relief Funds” and issued an advisory on the management of the COVID-19 relief funds.

The scope of the monitoring activities of ICPC did not cover CACOVID funds which were donated by individuals and private sector organizations as palliatives, but only the Federal Government funds used to procure relief materials and other palliatives.

“In view of the recent looting spree, ICPC will investigate the sources of goods looted from palliatives warehouses, the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and private houses to unravel whether or not the properties looted were personally acquired, government procured, CACOVID donated, or are empowerment materials which are part of the constituency projects initiative of the Federal Government.

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“ICPC will also scale up the monitoring of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) charged with the acquisition and distribution of COVID-19 palliative relief materials and make public its findings in due course,” the body said in a statement.