Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced interrogation of David Parradang, former comptroller-general of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), over allegations of corruption.
Parradang, who was suspended in August by President Muhammadu Buhari, arrived the Abuja headquarters of the anti-graft agency at 10am on Monday and was immediately ushered into the interrogation room by a crack team of already assembled to grill him.
A source at the agency said Parradang was being investigated for his role in the 2014 immigration recruitment exercise, during which applicants were made to pay N1,000 application fee each.
Investigations carried out by the EFCC revealed that the botched recruitment exercise fetched the service a whopping sum of N600 million, but at the end of the exercise, the NIS, under Parradang’s leadership, only declared N45 million.
At least 16 job seekers died in the unfortunate exercise. Abba Moro, former minister of the interior, and Drexel Nigeria Limited, the consultancy firm that organised the botched recruitment exercise, are also being investigated over the alleged scam, and for allegedly diverting the excess funds for private use.
Although Buhari did not state the reason for Parradang’s suspension, it was believed to be connected with investigations into how wanted terrorist Ahmad al-Assir secured Nigerian visa in Lebanon to visit Nigeria.
Al-Assir was apprehended on August 17 at the Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, Lebanon, after a failed attempt to by-pass the authorities with a fake passport and obvious change of looks. Buhari immediately ordered an investigation into the matter.
Parradang’s immigration service was also the subject of some intense public scrutiny in 2014, after the shoddily-0rganised recruitment exercise, but he has always denied involvement in the planning, saying the interior ministry under Moro handled it.