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Reps move to repeal military laws on public accounts

By Otei Oham, Abuja   |   09 January 2017   |   3:33 am
Members of the House of Representatives at a plenary. PHOTO: TWITTER/DOGARA

Members of the House of Representatives at a plenary. PHOTO: TWITTER/DOGARA

The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts is intensifying moves against the continued use of military laws by government in matters of public accounts in the country.

Its Chairman, Kingsley Chinda, who spoke in Abuja yesterday said the law, Armed Forces Act Cap 20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 made in 1987 to establish the public accounts committee, was later revised by the military government to examine audited accounts of all offices and courts of the federation.

He said as currently constituted, the laws could no longer stand the test of time in a democracy.

The laws require that the public accounts committee be headed by a chairman and seven other members, with each of them representing each unit of the armed forces of the federation.

These units, according to the laws, include police, army, navy and air force.

To ensure proper handling of all matters of public accounts in the current dispensation, the public accounts committee of the lower legislative chamber, through its chairman, has forwarded a report aimed at repealing the existing public accounts committee to the House of Reps leadership for consideration and approval.

The military laws as concern public accounts also require that within six months after a matter is referred to it for examination, pursuant to Section 4 of the Act, the committee prepares and submits to the National Assembly or the President, as the case may be, a report of the examination.

They further require that within six months after the end of each year, the committee prepares and submits to the president a report on its activities during the last preceding year.

Chinda said since some provisions of the act establishing the committee are not in tandem with the current democratic situation in the country, it has become difficult for the House committee to prepare and submit its reports to the President or National Assembly.

The House committee, under Chinda’s leadership, which sits four times in a week to examine periodic audited reports of Auditor-General of the Federation, has in this assembly, not forwarded any report of its findings to the president or laid any before the House of Representatives, The Guardian has learnt.




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