- Muhammadu Buhari has been called upon to ensure an investigation is carried out on an alleged missing fund at the ministry of finance
- The call was made to the president by a civil society organisation in Abuja, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)
- SERAP said allegations of missing N3.1 billion at the ministry of finance cannot be swept under the carpet
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to use his good office to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, to investigate allegations of missing N3.1 billion from the ministry of finance.
The group also urged the president to ensure that relevant anti-corruption agencies join in the probe of the missing funds within the ministry.
In its letter made available to Legit.ng, SERAP's deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, said the allegations are part of the 2018 and 2019 annual audited reports by the Auditor-General of the Federation.
SERAP said that anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any missing public funds should be fully recovered.
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In the letter dated 24 December 2021, and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said the reports suggest a grave violation of the public trust.
The letter read in part:
"As trustee of public funds, the ministry of finance ought to ensure strict compliance with transparency and accountability rules and regulations.”
"As a key agency of government, the ministry has a sacred duty to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of the country’s resources.
It said investigating the allegation, prosecuting the perpetrators and recovering any missing public funds would improve the chances of having a successful government focused on the fight against corruption.
The letter said:
“According to the report of the Auditor-General for 2018, the Ministry of Finance spent N24,708,090.00 on pre-retirement training but without any document."
"The consultant hired also failed to quote any price as the cost of the training but the Ministry paid N5,670,060.00 to the consultant."
Among many other allegations, the ministry also reportedly spent N98,759,299.20 between January and December 2017 without any document, contrary to Financial Regulation 601.
Copied in the letter to President Buhari for action is the AGF, the chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Bolaji Owasanoye; the chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa; the minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed and chairmen of the public accounts committees of the National Assembly.
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