The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts on Thursday accused the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, of “brandishing fake and forged documents” in her defence of the alleged missing N24bn from Police Pension Fund.
The committee had resumed sitting on the investigation on Thursday with the Director-General of Pension Transitional Arrangement Department, Mrs. Nellie Mayshak, and representatives of the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation in attendance.
Members of the committee at the session argued that the minister was misleading Nigerians with her claim that the money had been not missing but paid into bank accounts.
According to the Chairman of the committee, Mr. Solomon Olamilekan, there are no verifiable documents before the committee to track the money to any bank accounts.
Olamilekan noted that instead of honouring the committee’s invitation to address the issue, the minister opted to issue a press statement on an ongoing investigation.
He said, “We invited you people to appear before this committee on this serious transactions involving tax payers’ money running into billions of naira and the new Director-General 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 N24bn.
“We further requested 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 that Nigerians will know whether or not the N24bn was not missing.”
The committee said the minister should supply evidence of the movement of the money in the commercial banks involved between 2009 and 2012 in order to convince Nigerians that the money was not missing.
Olamilekan added, “All these documents being brandished around in defence of the missing N24bn are fraudulent, forged and fake, which cannot stand the test of the time.
“They have nothing to do with the missing money. Come to think of it, the minister claimed that the money was kept in an account. In 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?”
The committee directed that the documents should be produced at its next adjourned date of March 26.
The N24bn came to the fore after a Director in the AGF’s office, Mr. Salau Suberu, had informed the committee that the money was mopped up from the PPF in December 2012 and diverted to capital projects by the minister.
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