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Alleged withdrawal of N10 bn: Auditor-General denies claims, describes it as `scandalous’

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The Auditor-General for the Federation, Mr Anthony Ayine has described as `scandalous and embarrassing’, a report alleging that the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and him connived and withdrew N10 billion from the NHIS account.

A statement signed by Ayine on Monday in Abuja, advised the general public to ignore and disregard the libelous publication in its entirety.

He said the publication which was a mere fiction of the author’s imagination was self-seeking and not for public good or interest.

Ayine noted that his role and responsibilities as the auditor-general were to audit the nation’s accounts and report to the National Assembly.

According to him, the Auditor-General for the Federation has no Powers whatsoever to authorise withdrawal nor does he have any business withdrawing money from the NHIS or any other ministry, department or agency of government.

“I was only appointed in January 2017, and could not have withdrawn any money in December 2016 as claimed.

“Ever since my appointment as Auditor-General for the Federation, I have never been a Board Member or an officer of the NHIS, nor have I ever been a signatory to any bank account operated by the NHIS.

“The powers and responsibilities of the Auditor-General for the Federation of Nigeria are enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and are clearly spelt out.

“It is noteworthy that the Constitution did not give the Auditor-General any powers or rights to authorise withdrawal of any money or monies in accounts of any MDA whatsoever.

“The Auditor-General for the Federation has no direct reporting relationship with the Vice President. Such irresponsible online publication is a calculated attempt to deceive the public and to tarnish the image of the Auditor-General for the Federation and the Vice President, and must be condemned by all and sundry,’’ he explained.

He assured the public that the integrity of himself and that of his Office which had been lauded nationally and internationally for the professionalism in discharging the constitutionally assigned responsibilities remained intact.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that an online publication had indicted Ayine and the Vice President of withdrawing money from the account of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).


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