SERAP writes to Lawan and Gbajabiamila about ‘NASS 4.1 billion new missing NASS funds’

the Socio-economic Rights and Responsibility Project (SERAP) urged Senate Speaker Ahmad Lawan and House Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila to “use their good offices to urgently investigate and refer to response agencies Assembly is missing, hijacked, hijacked or stolen , as reported in the 2016 audited report from the Federation’s Office of the Auditor General. “

SERAP said: “These allegations are not part of the Auditor General’s disclosure in other verified reports that N 4.4 billion in National Assembly money is missing, embezzled, misappropriated or stolen. . “

In the letter dated May 15 and signed by SERAP Deputy Director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “As part of its legislative and oversight functions, the National Assembly has a key role to play in the struggle. against corruption in the country. But there is little the legislature can do in the fight against corruption if leaders and members are not first faced with the specter of alleged corruption and mismanagement within their ranks. “

SERAP also urges MM. Lawan and Gbajabiamila: “To identify lawmakers and staff members suspected of being involved, and to hand them over to the appropriate anti-corruption agencies to face prosecution, if there is sufficient evidence of missing public funds.” “

National Assembly

The letter read, in part: “Ensuring an effective investigation into these new allegations and the full recovery of any missing public funds would strengthen the country’s accountability framework and show that the National Assembly can fulfill its constitutional responsibility to amplify the voice of Nigerians. It will also show that the body is acting in the best interest of the people. “

“SERAP is concerned that allegations of corruption continue to undermine economic development, violate social justice and destroy confidence in economic, social and political institutions. Nigerians bear the heavy economic and social costs of corruption. The National Assembly therefore has the responsibility of slowing it down. “

“According to the Auditor General’s report for 2016, 4,144,706,602.68 N4 of money from the National Assembly is missing, misappropriated or stolen. The National Assembly paid some entrepreneurs N417.312.538.79 without any documents. The Auditor General wants the Clerk of the National Assembly to “recover the amount in question from the entrepreneurs”. “

“The National Assembly reportedly spent 625,000,000.00 Naira through its Constitution Review Committee between March and June 2016, but without any documentation. The Auditor General wants the Clerk of the National Assembly “to recover the amount from the committee and provide proof of recovery for verification.” “

“The National Assembly also reportedly spent 66,713,355.08 naira as’ staff costs’, but ‘the recipients of the cash book did not match those of the bank statement”. The Auditor General wants “irregular expenses to be recovered from the officer who approved the payments”. “

“The National Assembly would also have paid 116,162,522.60 N to certain entrepreneurs between April and June 2016 without any document. The National Assembly deducted 56,985,568.55 Naira from various contractual payments for withholding tax and value added tax, but without any proof of payment. “

“The National Assembly also reportedly paid 126,264,320.00 Naira in cash advances to 11 staff members between March and December 2016 to procure goods and services, but did not hand over the money. “

Senate chambers during plenary. [PHOTO CREDIT: @NgrSenate on Facebook]
Senate Chambers. [PHOTO CREDIT: @NgrSenate on Facebook]

“The Senate reportedly paid N747.286.680.00 as personal advances to staff members between February and December 2016 for various purchases and services, but failed to withdraw the money. The Senate also deducted N118,625,057.48 as withholding tax and value added tax, but presented no proof of remittance to the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

TEXEM

“The Senate also spent 109,007,179.73 naira on the vote on capital spending, but without any documents.”

“The House of Representatives reportedly deducted 821,564,296.48 Naira from staff salaries, but did not turn the money over to the tax authorities. The Chamber also paid N254,059,513.70 in the form of advances to staff members for the purchase of goods and services between January and December 2016, but failed to withdraw the money.

“The National Institute for Legislative Studies reportedly spent N375,867,000.00 to purchase 11 motor vehicles in April 2016. But the Institute also paid the same contractor N36,610,000.00 in September 2016 under the same contract without approval. “

“The Institute also reportedly paid N 10,927,768.80 to 7 staff who were redeployed from the National Assembly to provide specialist services, but without details of paid staff, and without any justification.”

“The National Assembly Service Commission reportedly approved N109.995.400.00 to train some officers in Dubai, UAE, but spent N127.629.600.00 as Estacode allowances to participants, and the fees of two consultants hired for the training. The Commission also spent N 9,975,000.00 as course fees for 34 officers, but it also paid a consultant N 4,987,500.00 for the same course fees. “

“The Legislative Aid Section earned NUL 12,274,587.77 as interest on bank accounts at a commercial bank between January and December 2016, but did not return the money to the Consolidated Revenue Fund.”

House of Representatives in plenary. [PHOTO CREDIT: Official Twitter handle of House of Reps.]
House of Representatives. [PHOTO CREDIT: Official Twitter handle of House of Reps.]

“We would be grateful if you could indicate the steps taken to respond to the allegations and implement the proposed recommendations, within 14 days of receipt and / or publication of this letter.”

“If we have not heard from you by then as to the measures taken in this direction, SERAP will take all appropriate legal measures to force the leadership of the National Assembly to implement these recommendations in the interest of public and promote transparency and accountability. in the National Assembly. “

“The National Assembly can only effectively fulfill its anti-corruption role if it can demonstrate exemplary leadership in investigating allegations of corruption and mismanagement involving the legislature.”

“SERAP notes that the Auditor General in the 2015, 2017 and 2018 reports documented that N 4.4 billion of public funds budgeted for the National Assembly are missing, misappropriated, misappropriated or stolen.”

“Responding to the allegations would enhance public confidence and confidence in the ability of the National Assembly to exercise its constitutional and oversight responsibilities, and to adhere to the highest standards of integrity.”

The letter was copied to Abukabar Malami, Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice; Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman of the Independent Commission on Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses (ICPC); Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and the chairmen of the public accounts committees of the National Assembly.

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