We can’t account for N24bn received from service wide vote —Police Pension Office

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The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts was shocked on Tuesday when the Director General of Pension Transitional Arrangement Department (PTAD), Mrs Nellie Mayshak, told the committee that there was no documentary evidence on the whereabouts of the N24 billion released from Service Wide Vote in 2010 for Police Pension Fund.

To this end, the committee has summoned the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr Jonah Otunla, the Auditor General of the Federation, Mr Samuel Ukura and the Director Genera,l Budget Office, Dr Bright Okogwu to appear before it and shed more light on the missing fund.

The committee also asked the DG, Budget Office to come before it with the memo showing the request for the missing N24 billion. It also asked the FirstBank to show how much was deposited in the bank and how much was disbursed and to come up with the bank details of the transaction.

The PTAD boss appeared before the committee to explain how the office expended the sum of N24 billion it received from the service wide vote account through the budget office.

However, while addressing the committee on how the N24 billion was expended, Mrs Mayshak said that, she had just resumed newly to manage the office, adding that the money was received and expended before her appointment.She added that, “we have no evidence, we have no record.

It just looks bad on our part. We will rather tell you the truth or make it up.”

The Internal Auditor of the Pension Office, Mr Adeyemo Julius Adebolu, who was around when the N24 billion was received by the pension office, told the committee that it was true that the sum of N24 billion was received from the Service Wide Vote for payment of pensioners in 2010.

He further told the committee that when the money was released, he advised the office to lodge the money in a FirstBank account, stressing that, after the lodgement of the money in the account, he was kept in the dark on further disbursement of the money to pensioners.

Mr Adebolu also told the committee that a consulting firm was contracted to disburse the pension fund, instead of the staff of the police pension office, noting that he had to come in when some of the pensioners after receiving their money, complained of being short-changed by the consulting firm.

Mr Adebolu added that, he was not also involved in the auditing process of the account.

The Chairman of the committee, Honourable Solomon Adeola Olamilekan, in his submission, said, “I am taken aback, because what you are telling us is that, Service Wide Vote is a slush account, it is an account that is used to settle the boys.”

To this end, he said that the committee would ensure that it gets to the end of the matter, saying that,”we’ll not allow this to go under the carpet.”

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