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SERAP Sues President Buhari, Others Over ‘Missing’ N3.1billion In Finance Ministry

SERAP Sues President Buhari, Others Over ‘Missing’ N3.1billion In Finance Ministry (Updated: 4 months ago)


Our Source reports that a case has been filed against President Muhammadu Buhari by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project over allegations that N3.1billion was missing from the Ministry of Finance.

The lawsuit followed the Auditor-General of the Federation’s 2018 and 2019 reports.

 

The group said the Nigerian leader failed to ensure the prosecution of those suspected to be responsible.

The suit filed on Friday at the Federal High Court in Lagos with number FHC/L/CS/148/22, SERAP is seeking an order to compel action from the President.

Our Source report that the unaccounted public funds breach the country’s anti-corruption laws and international obligations including under the United Nations Convention, SERAP said.

Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, and Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, are the respondents

Kolawole Oluwadare and Adelanke, SERAP's counsels, noted that the authorities must take appropriate measures to promote transparency and accountability in the management of public finances.

The body accused Ministry of Finance of spending N24,708,090 on pre-retirement training without any document, citing the Auditor-General’s report for 2018,

The consultant hired allegedly failed to quote any price as the cost of the training but the ministry paid him N5,670,060.

The request for payment was dated January 20, 2017 while the first payment voucher in his favour was dated January 13, 2017 (seven days before request).

Açcording to the report, the ministry allegedly failed to account for N2,885,772,493 released from the Service Wide Vote for estacodes and other allowances for meetings and contribution to Organisation for Petroleum Exporting Countries.

The ministry allegedly awarded a contract on 17 May 2017 for N98,540,500 without any document, contrary to the Public Procurement Act. 

The project was not also budgeted for.

The ministry is accused of deducting N9,354,809 as Withholding Tax and Value Added Tax without any evidence of remittance.

“The ministry also reportedly spent N98,759,299.20 between January–December 2017 without any document, contrary to Financial Regulation 601.

“According to the 2019 report of the Auditor-General, the ministry paid N20,466,744.00 as cash advances to ‘You-Win’ staff between 8 February and 18 December 2018 but the ministry has failed to retire the money,” the report said.

The government lost N2,046,674, which would have accrued as taxes had these jobs been undertaken through the award of contracts, SERAP disclosed.

The sum of N15,471,850 was allegedly paid to two consultants for capacity building in Kano and Adamawa states by the ministry without any supporting document, contrary to paragraph 603 (1) of the Financial Regulations.

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