Anti-graft Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), has said that it will investigate the looting of palliatives meant to cushion the negative economic impact of the lockdown induced by COVID-19 on Nigerians.
In a statement on Tuesday, signed by the ICPC’s spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, the Commission said the decision followed demands by Nigerians for the Commission to investigate and uncover the rationale behind the storage of palliative materials.
“In the aftermath of the looting spree that ensued as a result of the protests across the country, the ICPC is set to commence the investigation of the sources of looted items.
“This is in response to increasing public demands on the Commission to investigate and uncover the rationale behind the storage of palliative materials meant for the suffering masses in warehouses across the country which were supposed to be distributed to the people,” the ICPC said.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) had on Sunday petitioned the ICPC to “promptly, thoroughly, transparently and effectively investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged hoarding of COVID-19 palliatives in warehouses in several states.
Both the federal government and other private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) had on separate occasions provided relief items such as food, medical supplies, and other commodities to vulnerable Nigerians across the states and Abuja to combat the economic effects of the pandemic.
Many of these items had been delivered and handed over to the state governments for distribution to their citizens.
While some state governments claimed they have distributed the items to the vulnerable members in their various communities, some chose to warehouse theirs for whatever reasons.
Some of the warehouses have now been raided and looted with wanton destruction of public and private property occasioned by the violence that trailed the #EndSARS protest called to push for an end to police brutality.