The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday arrested a former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, over the Nigerian Immigration recruitment scam in which no fewer than 20 job seekers died.
A former Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs. Anaesthesia Nwaobia, and a Deputy Director were also arrested for investigation.
THE WHISTLER learnt that the anti graft agency will be filing a 12-count charge in the Federal High Court Abuja on Tuesday, but the date of arraignment was not known at the time of filing this report.
It will be recalled that about nine job seekers died on March 15, 2014 at the Abuja National Stadium when a stampede occurred in a crowd of over 100,000 persons who were struggling to secure placements for a recruitment test into the Nigerian Immigration Service.
The poor handling of the recruitment exercise led a cross section f Nigerians to call the resignation or dismissal of the then Minister of Interior Mr. Abba Moro and also the then Comptroller-General of Immigration, David Parradang.
The then minister who refused to step down, defended himself vigorously, blaming the job seekers for being impatient and refusing to abide by instructions as the cause of the tragedy.
“The point at which we are now is not about resignation. That time has gone,” Mr. Morro said in response to a question over why he refused to quit.
“At the time (people were calling for his resignation), I think emotions were very high. I was in the eye of a storm
“At that time, a lot of options were on the table… The issue is do you resign or do you stay to sort out the problem that have been created?
“I decided that staying and mopping up the mess caused by the lack of proper implementation of our plans is better. That’s the point we are now.”
The minister said Nigerians should consider the tragedy as an accident which he too did not plan for or envisage.
“I also have families. I didn’t set out on that journey knowing that accident would occur that would lead to the death of human beings.
“We took everything into proper perspective. If we had succeeded, a few Nigerians would have congratulated us for the job well done.”