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AGF report alleges financial impropriety in law school

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• Senate panel asks DG to recover monies

The Office of Auditor General of the Federation has uncovered multiple financial fraud in the Nigerian Law School. The infractions ranged from outright misappropriation to spending without approval and necessary appropriation.

This was contained in the 2015 auditor general report submitted to the Senate Panel on Public Account which indicted the management of the school of the infractions.

The report exposed how N32 million was paid to an unnamed cleaner over a period of 12 months. More disturbing is the fact that the payment was not appropriated in the budget of the school, the money was drawn from its internally generated revenue without approval.

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The auditor-general also queried the payment of another N36 million as dressing allowance through the account of one of the staff for 52 others without approval and in violation of the nation’s Financial Act.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Law School, Prof. Isa Hayatu Chiroma, in a spirited defence of the allegations, said that the queries raised could not have happened in the Law School. “I can’t imagine the Law School paying N36 million into one person account on behalf of others”, he said.

His defence was, however, not strong enough for the Senate panel to vacate the query. Equally perplexing was the revelation by the auditor-general, that the financial record of the school showed very weak signs of internal control measures as the storehouse has no ledger to show its inflows and outflows and some of its bank mandates were not dated.

The report alleged that even the internal auditor’s official stamp was not numbered, suggesting masive recklessness in the school’s finances.The auditor-general further revealed from examination of payment voucher that the school, at various intervals, made use of the pension funds to offset expenses not related to payment of pension, contrary to extant Financial Regulation 417 which states that “expenditure shall strictly be classified in accordance with the estimate and if incorrectly charged to a vote, shall be disallowed”. The director-general of the school has since been asked to recover the money involved in the infractions and return the same into the pension account.

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