An anti-corruption coalition group, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption, has issued a Freedom of Information request to the Auditor General of the Federation, demanding for a copy of the 2009-2014 audit report of the National Assembly.
In the request signed by the coalition’s Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, CSNAC said the availability of the report will assist it in identifying the whereabout of unaccounted funds in the expenses of the legislature.
Using the reports of Premium Times, an online newspaper, which partly reported contents of an audit report from the office of the Auditor General on September 11, 2016 as its ground for the request, CSNAC said the report detailed the failure of the National Assembly management to account for a total expenditure of over N9.4 billion in 2014 as revealed by the report.
It said: “According to the newspaper, tt was revealed (between January and December, 2014 under the leadership of David Mark as Senate President and Salisu Maikasuwa as the Clerk) how the Management Department of the National Assembly Commission transferred N9,392,995,515.00 (Nine billion, three hundred and ninety-two million, nine hundred and ninety-five thousand, five hundred and fifteen Naira) from the general services account to other accounts in different banks for Senate General Services, Appropriation, Constitutional Review, House of Representatives Services, UNDP Projects and Research Office Services.
“The money included N9.39 billion for which no “documentary evidence” was provided and a N47 million to be returned to government coffers out of which only N360,000 was returned; giving a total of N9,440,844,572 (nine billion, four hundred and forty million, eight hundred and four thousand, five hundred and seventy two Naira).”
The said report was also quoted to have disclosed that apart from the National Assembly, other key bodies indicted included the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Ministry of Interior, the Presidency, Central Bank of Nigeria and some foreign missions.
The newspaper reminded that in May this year, after the audit report had been submitted to the National Assembly, the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, led by Senator Andy Uba (PDP-Anambra), held a public hearing during which a number of government bodies such as the CBN, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigerian Ports Authority, Tertiary Education Trust Fund and Nigeria Pension Commission disclosed that they didn’t submit their internal audit reports between 2009 and 2014.
CSNAC said: “In the light of the above, CSNAC is, pursuant to Sections 1, 2, 3 & 4 of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, requesting the Auditor General of the Federation for a copy of this audit report. This information will assist us in exercising our mandate of collaborating with Governments in fighting corruption.
“We look forward to receiving this information promptly, and in any event, within Seven (7) days of the receipt of this application as provided for in Section 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.”