Nigerian courts have arraigned three suspected ghost
workers for allegedly defrauding government of N9 million ($28 600).
Among the suspects is an official from the office of consultants to the
office of the Auditor General of the Federation, Soft Alliance.
Esther Onukaogu Onyinyechi is the prime suspect of the alleged crime
committed between 2012 and 2013.
She has appeared at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) court in Abuja
alongside her siblings Jennifer Ebenuwa Chinazo and Joshua Onukaogu on a
13-count charge of conspiracy and obtaining by false pretence.
It is alleged the suspect input her name and her siblings’ names into the Integrated
Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) database as staff of Federal
Ministry of Education and Federal Ministry of Works respectively, for the
purpose of receiving salaries from the federal government.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge. The matter has been adjourned to September 21 for hearing.
Meanwhile, the defendants stay in Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission custody pending the perfection of their bail conditions.
Last year, Nigeria banished 50 000 ghost workers from the government payroll.
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to rid Africa’s biggest economy of corruption.