Osun Assembly Cautions MDAs To Stop Spending Unapproved Money

Osun Assembly Cautions MDAs To Stop Spending Unapproved MoneyThe Osun House of Assembly has warned Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) in the state against extra budgetary spending.

 

The House Committee Chairman on Finance and Appropriation, Mr Kamil Oyedele, gave the warning when the management of the State Ministry of Information, Home Affairs, Tourism and Culture appeared to defend its N435 million budget for 2017.

Oyedele, who noted that many of the MDAs were in the habit of spending unapproved money, said the Assembly would no longer accept such action.

He said that any head of MDAs caught spending unapproved money, would be handed over to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Kamil said Section 32 of the state’s Appropriation Law clearly states that no money should be spent outside the amount approved in the budget.

He said in line with Section 224 and 225 ICPC, spending unapproved government money was an offence.

According to Kamil, spending money not approved by the Assembly is criminal, adding that MDAs should always inform the Assembly for approval for extra money for developmental projects.

Kamil urged the MDAs to familiarise themselves with the public procurement law recently passed by the Assembly to guide them on government spending.

Also speaking, the House Committee Chairman on Information and Strategy, Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, urged MDAs to support government drive to improve Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Oyintiloye said government needed improved revenue to meet the yearning of the people.

He also charged the Ministry to engage in proper dissemination of government activities.

The House Committee Chairman on Environment, Mr Ajibola Akinloye, frowned at poor services been rendered by the State Fire Service which is under the Ministry.

Akinloye said that there had been complaint of slow response of the fire fighters to fire outbreaks in the state, adding that such attitude was not good for the state.

In her response, the Coordinating Director of the Ministry, Mrs Webster Esho, said that they would continue to do their best in the proper dissemination of government activities.

On the poor response of the fire service to fire disasters in the state, Esho said that lack of personnel and necessary facilities were the major challenge.

Management of State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) and Reality Radio Vision Services also appeared before the committee.

While OSBC presented N658 million budget for 2017, Reality Radio Vision Services budget was N133 million for the year.

SEC Intensifies Anti-corruption Efforts In Financial Sector

secThe Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Nigeria, is intensifying efforts to entrench transparency and accountability in the capital market, by a strict monitoring of financial operations to curb corrupt practices.

Senior Manager in the office of the Director-General of the Commission and a member of the Monitoring Unit, Bridget Emakpor, said in a statement that Nigeria’s status in the corruption index is a serious cause for concern which must be rectified.

The Commission noted that a new Anti-corruption Transparency and Monitoring Unit (ATMU) has been set up in collaboration with the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC).

It also added that the ATMU in collaboration with ICPC, has the task to ensure proper ethics and traceable growth in the Nigerian financial sector in line with global standards.

Chief Justice Warn Lawyers On Corrupt Practices

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Aloma Justicw Mariam Mukthar, has admitted that the lack of transparency; integrity and accountability are some of the factors responsible for the increasing level of corruption in Nigeria.

She stated this a seminar organised by the anti-corruption commission of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) where the issue of large scale corruption was again given prominence as the lawyers seek ways of stemming the tide in the country.

The CJN read the riot act to members of the bar and the bench, warning that the depreciation in budgetary allocation for the judiciary is not an excuse to engage in corrupt practices.

Addressing participants at a two day seminar, Justice Mukhtar warned judicial officers to shun corruption and vowed to deal with corrupt judicial officers saying corruption in the judiciary undermines the nation’s fragile democratic system by fuelling popular disillusionment with the country’s justice system.

Also speaking, NBA’s President, advised litigants to report corrupt lawyers and judges as he was corroborated by Professor Peter Abah of the Federal Ministry of Justice who announced a new strategy by the government to combat corruption.

The Solicitor General of Lagos State, called for a review of the role of lawyers in the administration of justice while the President of the anti-corruption commission of NBA suggested ways of stemming the tide of corruption.

The two day seminar which attracted legal luminaries where they deliberated on ways of repositioning and strengthening the legal practitioners’ disciplinary committee for a credible bar in addition to promoting openness and honesty within the bar.

 

EFCC Must Declare Cecilia Ibru’s Assets Within 72 Hours — Court

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to disclose within 72hours, the whereabouts of the money and properties forfeited by the convicted former Managing Director of Oceanic Bank (now Ecobank), Mrs. Cecilia Ibru.

Presiding Justice Mohammed Idris gave the order while delivering judgment in a Freedom of Information (FOI) suit filed by the President of Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PSAN), Mr Boniface Okezie.

Mr Okezie, had filed the suit against the EFCC as well as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN).

He had also urged the court to compel the two defendants to render account of all the legal fees paid so far to private lawyers handling its criminal cases.

Delivering judgment, Justice Idris  held that it was imperative for the anti-graft agency to account for the assets recovered from Ibru, which amounted to about N191 billion.

The judge also ordered  Mr Adoke and the EFCC to, within seventy-two hours, disclose the amounts they have respectively spent on hiring private lawyers for criminal prosecution.

In addition, the court ordered the defendants to disclose the amounts they pay their in-house counsel and their qualifications.

The defendants, according to the judge, are also to state the reasons for preferring private lawyers to their in-house counsel, as well as the amount they have spent for the training of their in-house counsel in the past one year.

The assets forfeited by Mrs Cecila Ibru included 94 landed property scattered in Nigeria, Dubai and the United States of America, as well as shares in about 100 firms both listed and unlisted in the Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE).

It would be recalled that Mrs Ibru was sentenced to eighteen months imprisonment by the then Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Dan Abutu after she pleaded guilty to a three-count charge of recklessly granting credit facilities.

BACKGROUND:
Ibru had admitted granting an illegal credit facility of $20 million to WAVES Project Nigeria Limited and N2 billion unlawful credit to Petosan Farms. She also agreed that she failed to ensure that the 2009 balance sheet of Oceanic Bank was a true view of the state of affairs of the bank.

Justice Idris, had in a sister case, ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to account for the assets forfeited by Ibru also within seventy-two hours.

Already, the CBN has appealed against that verdict.

In the notice of appeal, the apex bank stressed that accounting for the assets was not possible in view of the fact that it would expose the legal fees paid to lawyers that handled the matter.

The appeal, which was anchored on one point stated above, was filed by Gabriel Olawoyin (SAN) on behalf of the CBN.

The appeal is yet to be heard and determined by the appellate court.