A former Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Mr. David Paradang, told a Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday that there was no budgetary provision for the botched recruitment exercise into the service in which some applicants died in March 2014.
Paradang was testifying before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba as the first prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of a former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro.
The Economic and Financial Crime Commission is prosecuting Moro, alongside a former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Anastasia Daniel-Nwobia; and a deputy director in the ministry, F. O Alayebami, before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba.
Also standing trial along with them is the firm that was contracted to handle the recruitment job, Drexel Tech Nigeria Limited.
The accused are being prosecuted on 11 counts bordering on procurement fraud and money laundering.
They were alleged to have defrauded a total of 675,675 Nigerian job seekers to the tune of N675, 675,000 through alleged fraudulent collection of N1, 000 per applicant as online application fee.
Paradang had told the court when he started his testimony on Wednesday, that Moro did not inform him of the recruitment exercise until he found out in a newspaper advertisement.
Led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Aliyu Yusuf, the witness continued on Friday saying that the service was not financially ready for the exercise as of the time it was conducted in March 2014.
The witness was Comptroller-General of the NIS from June 2013 to August 2015.
He said, “We had no money to fund the recruitment exercise. But on 14 March, 2014, I was told by NIS zonal controllers that they had received N300, 000 each from the service’s board.
“The N300, 000 was inadequate as it could not even rent a venue for the recruitment exercise. There were supposed to be ambulances and allowances for the NIS personnel who conducted the job exercise.
“On March 15, 2014, the day of the recruitment exercise, I received calls and text messages from my deputies about the stampede that took place in the exercise across the country, where 15 job seekers died while 165 others were injured.”