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2011-2019: N11.9bn Stolen From Kwara Treasury – Forensic Audit Report

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  • N2bn cash withdrawn a month to 2019 poll
  • …Raises alarms over suspicious loans

A forensic audit report has revealed, among other astounding findings of alleged wrongdoing during the period, that at least N11.9bn of public funds were carted away from the treasury of Kwara State between 2011 and 2019 without any lawful linkage to any project or activity.

The FidelinfoNews gathered this was contained in a statement by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye On Thursday, it says the audit also revealed that in February 2019, with only one month to the general election, N2 billion in cash withdrawals made within eight days were unrelated to any projects or official expenses.

Partner at the SSAC and Professionals Anthony Iniomoh stated during the presentation of the report to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Thursday that the report is in two volumes and covers Internally Generated Revenue, Capital Receipts, Internal and External Loans, Recurrent / Overhead Expenditure, Personnel Cost (Salaries and Wages), Capital Expenditure, Assets Disposed, Kwara State Internal Revenue Service, Infrastructe

The statement reads;

“A few highlights of our findings may be necessary for the record. Our forensic audit revealed a colossal pilfering of N11, 981,268,709 which we recommended should be recovered to the public coffers. Similarly, we recommended to the state government to prosecute certain officers and companies in addition to claiming exemplary damages on transactions totalling N6,023,358,444, amongst other key findings,” Inumoh said at the presentation of the report.

“This is especially so in the cases of firms that we observed were paid huge public funds without any evidence of work done on record. In one instance, records show that a firm that was incorporated at the Corporate Affairs Commission on 14th June, 2016 was paid by the state government for a contract it purportedly executed for the state in April of the same year. It became apparent that this was a preconceived attempt to defraud the state.

“There was an instance of public officer getting paid at two different places for years, which is a clear breach of the law. Other infractions arising as a result of obvious conflict of interest and violation of due process were also spotlighted for the government to draw up new policy instruments to prevent such in the future.

“There was also a cash withdrawal within 8 days of N2.06 billion in February 2019 which was of interest to the audit. However, no documentation was made available to validate the purpose for which the money was withdrawn. There were also several other cash withdrawals within the state over the period running into billions of Naira which we could not validate.

“These and others have been recommended to be referred to an Administrative Panel of Enquiry. Furthermore, the audit revealed that loans were obtained by the Kwara State Government within the period under review.

“The elements of these loans could not be validated. Above all, the bank accounts to which these loans were disbursed to and what the loans were used for could not be established or validated.”

The report suggested to the government to prosecute some individuals and firms indicted in the two volume report, while other issues are to be referred to administrative panel of inquiry for some individuals to explain their roles in the many  infractions.

Governor AbdulRazaq, for his part, said the revelations were truly disturbing but hardly surprising, given the patterns of events in those years.

“We thank you for the robust work. It confirms what we have been saying all along,” he added.

“We also saw that it has taken a bit of time and I know that there were certain deliberate efforts to obstruct your work. That was why it has taken some time because you have made certain complaints about that and we tried to push those that were supposed to open the doors to make the doors easy for you.

“Your report, like others, will help us to steadily put the state in the right direction to deepen transparency and accountability. We will go through the report fully and look into your recommendations.

“With few things you said know, it is mind-boggling especially withdrawing cash of over N2bn a month to the election and all sorts of infractions that took place. Certainly, we shall progress from here and do the needful.”

Prof. Mamma Saba Jubril, secretary to the state governor, Senior Ibrahim Suleiman, attorney general and commissioner of justice, Florence Olasumbo Oyeyemi, commissioner of finance, AbdulGaniyu Sani, accountant general of the state, and Abdulrazaq Folorunsho, permanent secretary of the ministry of finance, all attended the event.

End.

 

Tijani Dako and Bamidele Sobiye are additional members of the audit company.

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Breaking: ICPC Detains D’banj Over Alleged Diversion Of N-Power Funds

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Oladapo Oyebanji, better known by his stage name D’banj, has been detained by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) over the alleged misappropriation of N-Power budget.

Fidel Info reports that the musician was apprehended and held Tuesday when ICPC agents closed in on him and forced him to present himself at the agency’s Abuja headquarters.

D’banj allegedly avoided summons for weeks by claiming to be abroad for scheduled concerts each time he was asked to appear for questioning over fraud allegations.

The pop musician, a famous and wealthy Nigerian, is charged with defrauding the Nigerian government out of hundreds of naira intended for the N-Power project, an empowerment initiative launched by the Nigerian government in 2016 to combat youth unemployment and advance social development.

Investigators contend that D’banj conspired with some tainted government representatives to add fictitious beneficiaries to the scheme’s payroll. Then, the recipients get payments into accounts that are now purportedly connected to the pop star.

After the musician failed to show up for interrogation despite multiple invitations, the ICPC moved to arrest him, forcing him to show up at the commission’s office on Tuesday.

Sources say, on arrival, D’banj was subjected to a prolonged interrogation session after which he was detained. His plea for administrative bail was rejected by officials who said the musician could not be trusted to attend his trial if released on bail.

Sources state that the ICPC might approach the court on Wednesday for an extended remand order to enable the agency complete its investigation before charging the musician to court.

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Crime

Squid Game Actor O Yeong-su Charged With Sexual Misconduct

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Squid Game actor O Yeong-su has been charged with sexual misconduct, South Korean judicial officials say.

Fidel Info reports that The 78-year-old is accused of touching a woman inappropriately in 2017, officials said.

Mr O has denied the allegation according to local media.

He became the first South Korean actor to win a Golden Globe award for best supporting actor in a series after his performance in the chart-topping Netflix thriller earlier this year.

The alleged victim first filed a complaint with the police against Mr O in December last year, according to Yonhap news agency. But the case was closed in April without a charge being brought against Mr O.

The prosecution has now reopened the investigation “at the request of the victim.”

Mr O has now been charged without detention, it adds.

Following the charge, Seoul’s culture ministry decided to stop broadcasting a government commercial featuring Mr O, according to local reports cited by AFP news agency.

Squid Game – Netflix’s most popular series of all time – is a thriller series which tells the story of debt-ridden people competing for a huge cash prize in a deadly series of children’s games.

Mr O plays the oldest participant in the survival competition.

Source: BBC

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Crime

Insecurity: Bandits Impose Levies On Communities In Zamfara

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A ‘compensation levy’ of varying amounts has reportedly been imposed on some communities in Zurmi LGA of Zamfara State.

Fidel Info reports that a resident of Moriki, in one of the communities in the local council, Aliyu Buhari, said the bandits had, through released captives, demanded that they be paid the levy before residents will be allowed access to their farmlands.

Buhari said some communities have paid and agreed on a reconciliation deal with the bandits, adding that residents of Moriki are currently working on raising the levy.

“People living in Moriki ward were asked to pay the sum of N20 million to be able to enjoy some level of peace,” he said.

Recently, two people were kidnapped from Dauran community in the council and a ransom was paid for their release, while in Kanwa, over 40 people, who are mostly women, were abducted during a house-to-house search by the terrorists.

The bandits are yet to demand any ransom for the release of the abducted persons.

The bandits had earlier imposed a compensation levy of N20 million on Kanwa community. The levy is to serve as a peace deal between the terrorists and the community.

Despite paying the levy, the residents are currently living in tension, as they believe that the recent mass abduction may lead to another levy.

“Currently, people of Moriki community are processing how to contribute the compensation fee. The fee is to enable them to access their farmlands and live peacefully without any fear of attack,” Buhari continued.

Many communities have already paid the compensation fee. Most of them yielded during the rainy season when farmers needed to work on their farmlands.

“In Moriki, during the rainy season, people were allowed to farm, but they started to threaten our peace when it was time to harvest our farm produce.

“Each household in Moriki has been asked to contribute N6,500 to make up the N20 million levy.”

“I understand that the deadline for the payment was last week Saturday, but the community is still working towards sourcing the money.”

“Some communities that have been asked to pay compensation levy include Gidan Shaho, Kadamutsa, and Dada.”

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