Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday arrested four directors of The National Theatre in Lagos for alleged embezzlement of government funds.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the four directors, including a woman, were picked up at their Iganmu office for allegedly diverting “huge sums” of revenue and statutory allocation into private use.
According to sources, among government revenue allegedly embezzled were N24 million annual rent paid by Nigerian Breweries for its 20 branded kiosks and N9 million paid for the use of National Theatre during the “Lagos @ 50” celebrations.
NAN reports that the affected directors were whisked out of the promises after they refused to honour EFCC invitation for questioning in the office of the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of National Theatre, Tar Ukoh.
The intervention of Grace Gekpe, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, on telephone could not save the officials from being whisked away by the EFCC operatives.
Addressing an Anti–Corruption Rally earlier in the premises, the National Theatre boss vowed to stamp out graft in the agency.
“Culture must k!ll corruption before corruption kills culture “ said Mr. Ukoh who also oversees the National Troupe of Nigeria.
Reacting to the development, Henry Udubuisi, Vice President, National Theatre Chapter of AUPCTRE, said that the union was behind the management’s decision to get rid the Agency of corruption.
AUPCTRE is the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporationns, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Services.
Mr. Ndubuisi told NAN that the union would give its support to the new management to cleanse the Agency of graft.