Nigerian Law School enmeshed in multiple financial messes

Nigerian Law School enmeshed in multiple financial messes

The Office of Auditor-General of the Federation has uncovered multiple infractions in the financial records of the Nigerian Law School. These range 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 indicted the management of the Nigerian Law School and exposed how N32 million was paid to an unnamed cleaner over a period of 12 months. Even more disturbing was that the payment was not appropriated in the budget of the Nigerian Law School; indicating the money was directly drawn down from its internally generated revenue without necessary approval.

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The Auditor-General also queried the payment of another N36 million paid as dressing allowance through the account of one of the staff for 52 others; again without approval and in violation of Nigeria’s Financial Act.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Law School, Professor Isa Hayatu Chiroma, in a spirited defence said that query raised could not have happened in the Law School. “I can’t imagine the Law School paying N36 million into one person’s account on behalf of others”, he said. His defence was however not strong enough for the Senate panel to vacate the query.

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Equally perplexing was the revelation by the Auditor-General, that the financial record of the Law School showed very weak signs of internal control measures. The Law School Storehouse had no ledger to show its inflows and outflows with some of its bank mandates not dated. Even the Internal Auditor official stamp was not numbered; suggesting masive recklessness in the finances of the School.

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 extant Financial Regulation 417 which states”expenditure shall strictly be classified in accordance with the estimate and if incorrectly charged to a vote shall be disallowed”. The Director-General of the Law School has since been asked to recover the sum involved and return the same into the pension account.

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