Several anomalies in the financial records of the Nigerian Law School over the years, have been discovered by the Auditor-General of the Federation, Mr. Anthony Ayine. In 2013 alone, the school management paid N36 million ‘several times’ to its staff as dressing allowance.
According to the Punch Newspaper reports, this information was revealed to the Senate committee on public accounts on Thursday by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation.
The report also included the illegal payment of N32 million to an unnamed cleaner in a period of 12months violating the Nigeria extant laws.
It is said that the infractions ranged from outright misappropriation to spending without approval and diversion of pension. This is contained in the 2015 Auditor-General’s report submitted to the Senate Committee on Public Account.
It also includes nine queries issued by the Office of the Auditor-General to the management of Nigerian Law School in 2015.
“The Management could not substantiate these payments with any approval from Salaries and Wages Commission to enable the audit team to determine the genuineness of these payments to staff. No appropriation in this request,” the report said.
The queries also said that N34.3 million was paid for the training of staff without approval from the federal government.
The management of the institution, led by its Director-General, Prof. Isa Chiroma, appeared before the Senate panel on Thursday to defend queries.
According to reports, the Director-General, in response to the queries, said he was not in posistion of the office at the tine under review, though admitted that government is a continuum. He said, “I can’t imagine the Law School paying N36 million into one account on behalf of others,” referring to the issue of payment of N36 million as dressing allowance.
Unfortunately, his defence was not strong enough for the Senate panel to vacate the query.
It was further revealed from the examination of payment voucher that the Law School, at various intervals, used funds meant for pension to offset expenses not related to payment of pension, contrary to extant Financial Regulation.
The Director-General of the Law School has been asked to recover the sum involved, including that of the pension account.
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