THE Nigerian Law School on Thursday was indicted by the Auditor-General of the Federation as financial misappropriations in its records were exposed. 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.
Following the shocking discoveries, nine queries were issued by the Office of the Auditor-General of Federation to the management of Nigerian Law School in 2015 according to the report. The Auditor-General queried the payment of N36 million as dressing allowance through the account of one of the staff for 52 others without approval and in violation of Nigeria’s Financial Act.
“The Examination of payment records revealed that the Nigerian Law School several times paid N36 million to staff as dressing allowance in 2013 alone.
“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 report also indicted the management for paying N32 million to an unnamed cleaner over a period of 12 months which is bizarre to existing laws. The queries also said that N34.3 million was paid for the training of staff without approval from the federal government.
The Director-General, Prof. Isa Chiroma (SAN), appeared before the Senate panel with other management on Thursday to defend queries. Prof. Chiroma, while responding to the queries, said that he was not the Director-General of the institution during the period under review, though admitted that government is a continual.
On payment of N36 million as dressing allowance, the Director-General admitted the act was shocking.
“I can’t imagine the Law School paying N36 million into one account on behalf of others”, he said.
The Auditor-General’s report further revealed from the 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 existing Financial Regulation. The Director-General of the Law School was mandated to recover the diverted sums and return them into the pension account as his excuses were rebuffed.