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I did not steal N350 million, says Okiro

Mike Okiro, ex – inspector-general of police (IGP) and chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC), has dismissed the allegation that he misappropriated the sum of N350 million belonging to the commission, referring to the report as blackmail.

He accused an unnamed journalist and Aaron Kaase, a former protocol officer in PSC, as masterminds of the allegation.

Kaase had written a petition to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) alleging that Okiro embezzled N350 million, which he collected from the National Security Adviser (NSA) for the 2015 general election. Kaase said rather than using the funds for training of personnel of the commission, Okiro diverted it for personal use. The ICPC subsequently invited the former IGP for questioning.

But speaking at a news conference in Abuja on Monday, Okiro claimed that the journalist demanded the sum of N10 million in order not to publish the false petition filed by Kaase. He said Kaase instigated the reporter to blackmail him. “On April 2, 2015 at 2.20pm, I received a text on my phone, which read, ‘Afternoon sir, can you kindly call me? Am working on a story over alleged N350 million loot in your commission.

It was from a journalist (name withheld),” he said. “When I called him, he stated that there was a petition to the EFCC and ICPC alleging that I defrauded the commission of N350 million and that the petition was sent to six newspapers to publish. He concluded that he needed to see me urgently but I told him I was not in Abuja and would see him when I return. “When I came back, he came to my residence and claimed he had spoken with the editors of the newspapers who had agreed not to publish the story on the grounds that I give them N10 million to share. He said that ‘Gen.

Buhari is coming to fight corruption and once the papers publish any such story against you, he would remove you immediately.” Okiro said the journalist sent him his bank details through text message and kept pestering him to pay the money in order to avoid “shame and embarrassment” but that he refused to give in.

He alleged that Kaase had grudges against him over his redeployment from the protocol unit where he was executing some shady deals and for his refusal to give him money during his wedding.

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