The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts on Monday ordered the Permanent Secretary in the Police Service Commission (PSC), Mr. Istifanus Musa to refund N12 million to the treasury over suspicion that the money was misapplied.
The said amount, according to a query issued by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (AuGF) to PSC in 2015 was spent on workshop in 2014 without budgetary provisions.
Deliberating on the query on Monday, the committee chaired by Hon. Kingsley Chinda, (PDP, Rivers), pointed out infractions that breached constitutional provisions, particularly Section 80.
The violations, according to the nation’s financial police, bordered on how a workshop was conducted in Nasarawa in 2014 and payment of N12million was made in 2015 to the beneficiaries without appropriation in 2015.
In the opinion of the AuGF, it was a clear violation of the Financial Regulation, and called for the refund of the funds into the nation’s treasury.
Discussing the matter, members of the committee were unanimous in declaring that the AuGF’s audit report be upheld.
In defence of the Commission, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Istifanus Musa, admitted that there were infractions, saying, “We made all the necessary documents available to the AuGF in 2015 because the releases in 2014 came late.”
“I plead that the documents should be accepted as the training was conducted in November of 2014,” he added.
Gabriel Onyewinnfe, a member of the panel from Anambra quickly noted that “there’s already a breach and if it were a virement, it has to be approved by the National Assembly.”
Hon. Solomon Maren, (PDP, Plateau), also supported his colleague, saying that, “all you needed to do was to request for a supplementary budget to make the payment in 2015.”
Ruling on the matter, Hon Kingsley Chinda, chairman of the panel, ruled that “it’s glaring that the action violates Sections 80-81 which captures extra-budgetary expenditure.”
“We upheld the report of the AuGF that the sum of N12m should be returned with a word of caution that MDAs should not unilaterally carry over expenditure,” he said.
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