Tongues are wagging and tension is escalating among staff of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Related Offences Commission (ICPC) as a top staff of the ICPC is said to be having an amorous affairs with a woman who heads a sensitive position in the commission culminating into secret marriage and this has to a large extent affected their official duties thereby damaging the reputation of the anti-graft agency.
The illicit romance first blew open as an office romance between a top investigator and a public relations officer but has since been secretly formalized without following due process of change of name.
The office romance which was hitherto a top secret took on an interesting dimension when they began interacting to pursue ulterior objectives against individuals and organisations invited by the ICPC using their departmental positions discreetly.
This unofficial collusion of husband and wife hit the rocks in November last year when the ICPC was inundated with public ridicule and outrage over its press statement on an investigation that was riddled with unpardonable errors and scandalous misrepresentation at variance with the documented records of the investigation.
The barrage of criticism and condemnation of ICPC triggered by the press statement prompted internal queries which confirmed that it was entirely plotted by the husband-and-wife cabal to blackmail some organizations and extort “settlement” terms.
The internal investigation also showed that the misleading press statement was extracted from the petition that triggered the investigation without reference to the records of the investigation and statements made by the organizations invited.
The ICPC has been in a dilemma since the husband and wife cabal’s involvement was exposed because though it should set the records straight that would gravely bring its independence in investigating corrupt practices to a questionable perception by the general public.
This unforgivable act started with the acting chairman in charge and has continued unchecked.
The said official at the center of this amorous affair boasts of his closeness to one of the highest offices in the Presidency (Not the office of the President), he confided in close friends that whatever he wants will happen in the ICPC and so far he has succeeded unimpeded.
The question pertinently begging for an answer is if the acting chairman in ICPC is aware of this secret union and what he has done to ensure that an anticorruption agency of the federal government is not run from a family meeting room and decisions taken by the ICPC are not influenced by personal interest
The absence of the board of the Commission which was approved by the Senate but is yet to be inaugurated is blamed by staff for the rampant acts of indiscipline and privatization of official functions by the husband-and-wife cabal.