President Muhammadu Buhari has presented awards to three Nigerians who recently distinguished themselves in the area of integrity and anti-corruption.
The President performed the award ceremony after declaring open the 3rd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector, organized by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).
The 2021 Public Service Integrity Awards were presented to Nelson Okoronkwo, Deputy Director, Legal, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Muhammad Ahmad, Assistant Commander of Narcotics, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Ikenna Nweke, a PhD student, from Imo State, studying in Japan.
Okoronkwo, who was recognised for his consistent acts of integrity in the different ministries where he served, is a committee member on fertilizer distribution that led to the recovery of billions of naira from racketeers with collaborators within the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
He was credited to have reported corrupt practices that led to the Ogoni cleanup investigation in the Federal Ministry Environment.
As Committee Chairman on Illegal Recruitment in the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, the Deputy Director facilitated the detection and removal of over 3000 fake employees from the Service thereby saving the government millions of naira in terms of salaries and emoluments.
The NDLEA officer, Ahmad, was recognised for demonstrating the highest ideals and standards of the public service in the discharge of his responsibilities.
Also a recipient of the Chairman/Chief Executive Award for Outstanding Performance and Integrity, Ahmad recently recovered and declared to his Agency the sum of 24,500 USD offered to him as bribe by a drug baron to compromise an investigation of 27.950 kg of cocaine, worth billions of naira.
Nweke, the Nigerian PhD student in Japan who found a wallet containing a very large amount of money and other valuables returned it to the Japanese police.
He declined 10 per cent of the money offered to him as a reward.
The Nigerian, who joined the event virtually from his base in Japan, was recognised for his act of ‘‘honesty and integrity,’’ by the President.
On Nweke, President Buhari said:
‘‘I am also happy to note the ICPC special award to Ikenna Steve Nweke, a Nigerian Ph.D student from Imo State studying in Japan.
‘‘He has done Nigeria proud in far-away Japan by displaying traditional Nigerian values of honesty and integrity and returning a wallet containing a very large sum of money and other valuables to the police.
‘‘He also declined 10% of the money found as a reward offered to him.
‘‘I join the ICPC in declaring him ICPC CITIZENS ANTI-CORRUPTION VOLUNTEER GROUP ICON.
‘‘He is indeed an icon and a beacon for our youths. I also congratulate all those to be awarded the ICPC Certificate of Integrity through their agencies.’’