ICPC clears Lagos commissioner of corruption allegations

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has cleared Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, of corruption allegation.

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has cleared Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, of corruption allegation.

A group, Parrot Deed International Network in a petition to ICPC dated March 2, 2020, had alleged that Akinbile-Yussuf, acquired some properties while she served as a commissioner in two ministries between 2015 and 2019, before her present position under the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration.

The ICPC, in a letter detailing the outcome of its findings with reference number ICPC/OPS/GBP/DOP/674, which was addressed to the state government, said the commissioner had duly declared her assets before taking up public office.

The anti-graft agency, in a copy of the letter made available to newsmen, stated that it diligently investigated the allegations bordering on the unlawful acquisition of wealth and corrupt practices in public office and found nothing against Akinbile-Yussuf.

The letter, signed on behalf of the Chairman of ICPC by Akeem Lawal, the Commission’s Director of Operations, read in part: “It was alleged that the respondent, Hon. Uzamat Folasayo Akinbile-Yussuf maintained her position as a Director in Musaroq Nigeria Ltd while serving as a Commissioner.

“It was further alleged that she used her office and position to corruptly enrich herself, culminating in her acquisition of hotels, fuel stations, and other properties.

“Detailed investigation into the allegations was carried out with necessary documents and records carefully perused. Findings not only revealed that the respondent owns the alleged properties but that they were acquired before she was engaged in Public Service.

“The Commission took a step further to write to the Code of Conduct Bureau to ascertain what she declared and it was confirmed that the properties and other assets were duly declared.”

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A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.