“Stop releasing funds to Mimiko”, Labour Unions tell Ondo Accountant-General.

Labour unions in Ondo State on Monday urged the state’s Accountant-General, Laolu Akindolire, to stop further release of funds to the government of Governor Olusegun Mimiko, whose tenure expires on Friday this week.

The letter, addressed to the Accountant-General, was signed by the chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council, JNC, Sunday Adeleye, his Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, counterpart, Bosede Daramola, as well as the Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, Soladoye Ekundayo.

The unions alleged that they had information that the outgoing government was making efforts to mop up funds in the account of the state government for “frivolous projects”, before the end of its tenure.

The unions warned Mr. Akindolire not to abuse his office in approving money other than the payment of workers’ salaries.

Officials told PREMIUM TIMES that the Accountant-General had become evasive and had not been to his office to avoid influx of financial requests.

As a result, the N150 million requested by the outgoing administration to organise the inauguration ceremony has not been processed and is stuck in the Accountant-General’s office.

It was also gathered that efforts to reach Mr. Akindolire on his mobile phones had been impossible.

Commissioner for Information, Kayode Akinmade, in his response, said the projects completed by contractors needed to be paid only from funds earmarked for capital projects.

“There is a difference between funds meant for recurrent and those for capital expenditure,” he explained. “You cannot take recurrent funds and use it for capital projects.”

He argued that if a contractor has his certificates of a completed projects, he should be paid, even though salaries have not been paid, because the monies for the payment of salaries are different from those meant for contractors.

On the absconding of the Accountant General, Mr. Akinmade noted that in a transition, there was bound to be some strange movements in a bid to curry the attention of the incoming government.

“This is not unusual in a transition like this, where you see people trying to shift loyalty so that they would be favoured by the incoming government,” he said.

“But we should not play politics with the lives and well-being of the people,” he said.

He noted that Governor Mimiko would not do anything against the interest of the people and in breach of the fiscal responsibility laws of the land.

He had earlier told PREMIUM TIMES that it was legal for the administration to continue to spend funds from the state’s coffers for the next six months even without an extant budget, provided the spending did not exceed the prescribed amount for the period.


Source: Premium Times

SERAP wants Nigeria’s Attorney General, Accountant General jailed

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has commenced committal to prison hearings against the Federal Government; Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice; and Ahmed Idris, Accountant-General of the Federation “for having neglected to obey the order of the court made on Friday the 26th of February, 2016, requiring them to provide SERAP with up to date information on the spending of recovered stolen funds since the return of democracy in 1999.”

The information ordered to be released by Justice Muhammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos include specific details on the total amount of recovered stolen public assets by governments since 1999; the amount that has been spent from the recovered stolen public assets and the objects of such spending; as well as details and location of specific projects on which recovered stolen public assets were spent.

The Form 49 “notice to show cause why order of committal should not be made” was filed at the Federal High Court, Lagos last week by SERAP executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni “following the service on Mr. Malami and Alhaji Idris of Form 48 contempt suit, and the certified true copy of the judgment.”

Mr. Mumuni said, “Despite the service of both form 48 and the certified true copy of the judgment on both the Attorney General of the Federation and the Accountant-General of the Federation they have failed and/or neglected to acknowledge the judgment let alone obey it.”

“It has become painfully clear since the judgment was delivered that this government has no plan to enforce it. It’s dismaying that a government, which builds its reputation on combating grand corruption has not embraced the enormous opportunities the judgment provides to open the book on what exactly happened to recovered loot.”

“It’s absolutely unacceptable to take the court, which is the guardian of justice in this country, for a ride. A democratic state based on the rule of law cannot exist or function, if the government ignores and/or fails to abide by Court orders,” Mr. Mumuni said.

The 69-page judgment in suit no: FHC/IKJ/CS/248/2011 signed by Honourable Justice Mohammed Idris reads in part: “Transparency in the decision-making process and access to information upon which decisions have been made can enhance accountability.”

“Obedience to the rule of law by all citizens but more particularly those who publicly took oath of office to protect and preserve the Constitution is a desideratum to good governance and respect for the rule of law. In a constitutional democracy like ours, this is meant to be the norm.”

“In respect of the SERAP reliefs on recovered stolen funds since return of democracy in 1999, the government had kept mute. Let me say that they have no such power under the law.”

“There is public interest in public authorities and high-profile individuals being accountable for the quality of their decision making. Ensuring that decisions have been made on the basis of quality legal advice is part of accountability.”

“I am of the view and do hold that the action should and does succeed in whole. Documents relating to the receipt or expenditure on recovered stolen funds since return of democracy in 1999 constitute part of the information which a public institution and authority is obligated to publish, disseminate and make available to members of the public. The government has no legally justifiable reason for refusing to provide SERAP with the information requested, and therefore, this Court ought to compel the government to comply with the Freedom of Information Act, as the government is not above the law.”

“Judgment is hereby entered judgment in favour of SERAP against the Federal Government as follows:

A DECLARATION is hereby made that the failure and/or refusal of the Respondents to individually and/or collectively disclose detailed information about the spending of recovered stolen public funds since the return of civil rule in 1999, and to publish widely such information, including on a dedicated website, amounts to a breach of the fundamental principles of transparency and accountability and violates Articles 9, 21 and 22 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act

A DECLARATION is hereby made that by virtue of the provisions of Section 4 (a) of the Freedom of Information Act 2011, the 1st Defendant/Respondent is under a binding legal obligation to provide the Plaintiff/Applicant with up to date information on the spending of recovered stolen funds, including:

(a) Detailed information on the total amount of recovered stolen public assets that have so far been recovered by Nigeria

(b) The amount that has been spent from the recovered stolen public assets and the objects of such spending

(c) Details of projects on which recovered stolen public assets were spent

AN ORDER OF MANDAMUS is made directing and or compelling the Defendants/Respondents to provide the Plaintiff/Applicant with up to date information on recovered stolen funds since the return of civilian rule in 1999, including:

(a) Detailed information on the total amount of recovered stolen public assets that have so far been recovered by Nigeria

(b) The amount that has been spent from the recovered stolen public assets and the objects of such spending

(c) Details of projects on which recovered stolen public assets were spent

It would be recalled that SERAP had on 28 March 2016 sent a copy of the certified true copy of the judgment to Mr. Malami and Mr. Idris urging them to use their “good offices and leadership to ensure and facilitate full, effective and timely enforcement and implementation of the judgment.”

SERAP letter reads in part “Given the relative newness of the Buhari government, the effective enforcement and implementation of the judgment will invariably involve setting up a mechanism by the government to invite the leadership and high-ranking officials of the governments of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, former President Umaru Yar’Adua, and former President Goodluck Jonathan to explain, clarify and provide evidence on the amounts of stolen funds recovered by their respective governments (from abroad and within Nigeria), and the projects (including their locations) on which the funds were spent.”

“SERAP therefore believes that the swift enforcement and implementation of this landmark judgment by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari will be litmus test for the President’s oft-repeated commitments to transparency, accountability and the fight against corruption, and for the effectiveness of the Freedom of Information Act in general.”

The organisation said that, “The enforcement and implementation of the judgment should not be delayed as to do this is to continue to frustrate the victims of corruption in the country since the return of democracy in 1999, and will threaten to undermine the authority of our judicial system.”

Kogi Gets New SSG , Accountant-General, 20 Special Advisers, Others

Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has appointed Mrs Folashade Ayoade as the new Secretary to the State Government ( SSG).

In a statement issued in Lokoja on Tuesday, signed on his behalf by his Chief of Satff, Mr David Onoja, the governor also named Alhaji Momoh Jubril as the new Accountant-General of the state.

The list of appointees included 20 new Special Advisers and three Senior Special Assistants on print media, electronic and new media.

The new Senior Special Assistant on print media is Mr Ademu Idako who was until the appointment , the Correspondent of the Newswatch Daily and Chairman of Correspondents’ Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists in Kogi

Mrs Petra Akinti Onyebule and Mr Gbenga Olorunpomi are the new Senior Special Assistants on Electronic Media and New Media.

Also appointed are Brig-Gen. Olusola Okutimo as the Security Adviser to the governor, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, Legal Adviser and Mr Abdulkareem Mohammed as the Director-General, Protocol.

The governor also approved the appointment of five special assistants for the Deputy-Governor.

Credit: Leadership

Bello Sacks Kogi Accountant General, Perm Secs, Others

Kogi State Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello yesterday sacked the Accountant General of the state, Mr Ibrahim Idakwo and all permanent secretaries except the Permanent Secretary in charge of Government House.
A statement issued in Lokoja by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Kingsley Fanwo, said the governor also directed all Heads of Administration to proceed on compulsory leave immediately.

The statement said the Accountant General had been relieved of his post while his deputy should proceed on the compulsory 30-day leave.
“At the local government level, the Directors of Local Government Administration, treasurers, education secretaries and cashiers are also to proceed on compulsory leave. The decision is geared towards ensuring a more efficient and productive civil service. The directive takes effect from tomorrow (today)”, the statement said.
The latest development according to our correspondent means that over 100 top government officials in the state might as well be on the verge of losing their jobs.
There are 21 local government areas in the state, implying that 21 directors of local government administration, 21 treasurers and 21 education secretaries got the hammer. The directive also affects 37 permanent secretaries.
Bello had on assumption of duty dissolved all government boards and parastatals except the Judicial Service Commission, State Independent Electoral Commission and Civil Service Commission.


Gov. Wike Suspends Commissioner For Finance, Accountant-General

Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers, on Friday, suspended the Commissioner for Finance and Accountant General of the State.


This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Simeon Nwakaudu, Special Assistant to the Governor (Electronic Media), in Port Harcourt.


It said that Dr Fred Kpakol, the commissioner and Sir Abere Dagogo, the Accountant General, had been suspended by the governor.


It said the suspension took immediate effect, but did not give any reason for the suspension of the two senior government officials.




Lawmaker, Accountant General Among Hajj Victims

The Hajj Commission on Sunday night said 54 Nigerians had been confirmed dead. But many others are still missing.

It emerged yesterday that more high profile persons died in the stampede, with the announcement that Niger State lost its Accountant General, Alhaji Shehu Kontagora. A member of the Katsina State House of Assembly, Mr. Faisal Musa, also died.

A statement by the Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the president was very concerned that days after the unfortunate incident, some Nigerian families are still grappling with painful uncertainty over the fate of their relatives who travelled to Saudi Arabia for this year’s Hajj.

He expected the National Hajj Commission to work with the various state pilgrim boards, Islamic organizations and private travel agencies involved in hajj operations to speedily provide a confirmed and verifiable report on the status of every Nigerian pilgrim in Saudi Arabia.

Read More: thenationonlineng

President Buhari Appoints New Accountant General

President Buhari has appointed a serving director in the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Ahmed Idris, as the new Accountant General of the Federation.

The appointment was made known by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Danladi Kifasi, through a statement by his Director of Communications, Haruna Imrana, June 25th.

The statement in part reads “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Alhaji Ahmed Idris as the Accountant General of the Federation. The appointment takes immediate effect from 25th of June 2015.

Idris who hails from Kano State, was born on Nov. 25, 1960, and was until his appointment, the Director of Finance and Accounts, Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development.

The position of AGF became vacant after the former Accountant General, Jonah Otunla, resigned on June 12.

The Office of the Head of Service later conducted examinations for prospective candidates for the position which was attended by all Directors of Finance and Accounts and some in the Audit department, from all the Ministries.


Enugu Assembly Orders Arrest Of State Accountant General

The Enugu State House of Assembly has directed the Commissioner of Police in the state to arrest the Accountant-General, Paschal Okolie, for failing to appear before it for the third time.

The Leader of the assembly, Sunday Ude-Okoye (PDP-Awgu North), moved the motion for the issuance of a warrant of arrest on the accountant-general during plenary on Wednesday in Enugu.

Mr. Ude-Okoye said the arrest became imperative because of his consistent failure to appear before the assembly. “We are all from Enugu State and every time he pretends to be sick, but we keep getting information that he attends to his duty. This is the third invitation to him and there is no sign or reason why he is not here. As of today, he is in Enugu State.

“Maybe as one of us said yesterday that we have no powers, he feels that we have no powers indeed and he will continue to fry us like `akara’ in the frying pan. So because of his continuous failure and neglect of this honourable House, l therefore evoke the powers bestowed on us to order the Commissioner of Police to issue a warrant of arrest on the accountant-general,’’ he said

Mr. Ude-Okoye, therefore, moved that the accountant-general should be brought before the assembly on April 21. The motion, which was seconded by John Anichukwu (PDP-Nkanu East), was put to vote and was unanimously passed by the lawmakers. Mr. Okolie was invited by the lawmakers to explain why he decided to withhold the assembly’s monthly subvention.

Credit: NAN