The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Mohammed Bello, has explained that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, and the Federal Executive Council approved payment of N7 billion for the purchase of the “carcass” of an “uncompleted” building.
The Permanent Secretary said this in his reaction to the query issued to him by the Federal Government through the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan.
Bello accused Nanono and the incumbent Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Mu’azu Abdulkadir, of being behind the allegations against him.
He said: “I will state that due process was followed to the letter in the purchase of the said building.
“After submission of recommendation to the Hon. Minister of Agriculture, he approved that Council Memo be made to that effect.
“We then sent the Memo to the Secretary to Government of the Federation who then scheduled it for Federal Executive Council Approval.
“Consequently, the Federal Executive Council approved the purchase of the building.
“These are the same people alleging that the purchased office building was unfit for use.
“It is worthy of note at this point that it is the current Permanent Secretary FMARD who is actually guilty of virement as since after the approval of the above contracts has refused to sign and release letters of award of contract to the respective contractors but instead diverted and vire the funds to other projects in his locality that were never part of the appropriation, neither advertised nor bided for.
“This is a case of unequivocal virement.”
It could be recalled that Federal Government queried the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology for allegedly buying what it described as an “uncompleted carcass” building for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for N7 billion.
Bello was said to have superintended over the transaction for the purchase when he was still the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
He was also accused of giving out seven deep drilling rigs for borehole procured at N1.3 billion to some unnamed individuals under “fraudulent arrangements.”