The Office of Auditor- General of the Federation (OAGF), yesterday, said that it had uncovered multiple infractions in the financial records of the Nigeria Law School. According to OAGF, in a query to the Nigeria Law School, the infractions ranged from outright misappropriation to spending without approval and necessary appropriation.
The Auditor-General’s Financial Report for 2015; submitted to the Senate Committee on Public Accounts for investigation had indicted the management of the Nigeria Law School and exposed how N32 million was paid to an unnamed cleaner over a period of 12 months. The report further noted that the payment was not appropriated in the budget of the Law School; a situation that revealed that the money was directly drawn down from its internally generated revenue without necessary approval from relevant authorities.
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 country’s Finance Act. The Director-General of the Nigerian Law School, Professor Isa Hayatu Chiroma, while defending the query, said that the anomalies could not have happened in the Law School, saying “I can’t imagine the Law School paying N36 million into one person’s account on behalf of others”.
However, the members of the Committee were not convinced to vacate the query, stressing that his defence was not strong enough. The lawmakers were also disappointed by the revelation by the Auditor- General, that the financial record of the Law School had very weak internal control mechanism.
The Law School Storehouse had no ledger to show its inflows and outflows, with some of its bank mandates not dated. The query revealed that even the Internal Auditor’s official stamp was not numbered; suggesting massive recklessness in the financial management of the Law School. The Auditor-General’s report further revealed from examination of payment voucher that the Law 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”.