The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has commenced investigation into the estacode paid to 87 officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Federal Civil Service Commission, according to a report.

The 87 officers who were paid allegedly supervised the 2018 promotion exercise involving 59 Foreign Service officers.

The investigation, sources disclosed, was triggered by intelligence alleging the existence of a cartel which uses the Foreign Service officers’ promotion as a cover to defraud the Federal Government.

A detective at the EFCC said, “Nigeria has 114 embassies all over the world and personnel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are posted to the different embassies abroad. The promotion examination of the personnel is usually conducted abroad.

“For the 2018 promotion, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was said to have grouped embassies into four zones for ease of coordination. There is the Africa Zone with Nairobi, Kenya as centre and the European Zone with its centre at London.

“The Asia Zone centre is in New Delhi, India; and the America zone centre is located in New York. About 36 officers from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs allegedly supervised the examination in the aforementioned zones while the Federal Civil Service Commission deployed 51 officers for the same exercise.”

The source noted that while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs paid a total sum of N37, 741,590 as estacode allowance to its officers, the Federal Civil Service Commission spent N52,474,072.

Sources disclosed that some of the officers who participated from the Federal Civil Service Commission spent fewer days than the nine days approved.

“Efforts will be made to get the officers to refund the excess estacode”, the source said.

When contacted, the Spokesman for the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Tope Fatile, said he was just hearing about the allegations for the first time but promised to get back to newsmen during the week.

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