It seems the latest style of embezzling money in Nigeria among public officials is to declare it missing.
Following the well-publicized misplacement of $20bn from the NNPC coffers, this time is N24bn missing from the Police Pension fund.
According to InformationNigeria,
There are indications the sum of N24 billion has disappeared from the service wide vote in 2010 for the Police Pension Fund, with a stunning revelation on Tuesday.
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts was inundated with this fact by the Director General of Pension Transitional Arrangement Department (PTAD), Mrs. Nellie Mayshak said there was no documentary evidence on the whereabouts of the money.
The committee was therefore compelled to summon the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, for the second time in two weeks, the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, Auditor General of the Federation, Mr. Samuel Ukura and the Director General Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogwu to appear before it to answer questions on the so-called missing fund.
Specifically, Okogwu was required by the committee to come forward with a memo showing the request for the missing N24 billion.
Also requested to submit documents showing the amount deposited in its vaults and detail of the transaction done with it, is First Bank.
Mayshak, however, could not give details of how the ‘missing’ money was expended, having just resumed office.
“We have no evidence. We have no record. It just look bad on our part. We rather tell you the truth or make it up,” she noted.
In his submission, the Internal Auditor of the Pension Office, Mr. Adeyemo Julius Adebolu, who was around when the fund was received, confirmed its receipt from the service wide vote for the payment of pensioners in 2010, saying he advised the office to lodge the money in a First Bank account.
He said afterwards, he was kept in the dark on further disbursement of the money to pensioners by a consulting firm contracted for that purpose.
He also revealed that he was not also involved in the auditing process of the account.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Solomon Adeola Olamilekan, in his submission, said: “I am taken aback, because what you are telling us is that service wide vote is a slush account, it is an account that is used to settle the boys.”
He therefore said the committee would ensure that it gets to the end of the matter, saying,”we’ll not allow this to go under the carpet.”