The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr. (Mrs.) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala has gotten into fresh trouble with the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts which yesterday accused her of brandishing fake and forged documents in her defence that N24billion pension fund was not missing. The committee then challenged the minister to a public debate so that Nigerians will know the truth; whether the said sum is missing or not.
Chairman of the committee, Rep. Solomon Adeola Olamilekan, who spoke at the resumed hearing of the missing money yesterday in Abuja, insisted that the N24bilion was actually missing and accused the Finance Minister of either being ignorant of the facts of the transactions or trying to mislead the country.
The hearing was attended by the Director General of Pension Transitional Arrangement Department (PTAD) Mrs Nellie Mayshak and her team, as well as representatives of the office of the Accountant General of the Federation and others.
According to Adeola “we invited you people to appear before this honourable Committee on this serious transactions involving Tax payers’ money running into billions of naira and the new DG of Pension Transitional Arrangement Department was honest enough to say that she just took over and that there was no document to back up the disbursement of the N24bllion.
“We further requested for more documentation in order to get to the root of the matter only for the Minister to come up with a press statement that the money was not missing.
“We challenge her to a Public debate where all the media houses will be present and will be on live on all Television stations, so Nigerians will know whether or not the N24billion was missing”, he declared.
Olamilekan noted that “all these documents being brandished around in defence of the missing N24billion are fraudulent, forged and fake which cannot stand the test of the time, they have nothing to do with the missing money.
“The minister claimed that the money was kept in an account, but which bank and how much was the interest since it was kept in the bank? She also claimed that the money had been paid into the treasury, where is the official receipt issued to that effect?” he asked.
The committee then requested for the statements of bank account detailing how the account was managed at First Bank Plc., between 2009 and 2012 which must be duly signed by the bank as its officials might be invited to give evidence on the matter.
The minister is yet to respond to this allegation.