The House of Representatives on Wednesday beamed its searchlight on the Presidential Advisory Committee headed in 2010 by a former Minister of Defence, Gen. Theophillus Danjuma (retd).
According to the House Committee on Public Accounts, the Danjuma-led committee reportedly withdrew N1.2billion from the Service Wide Vote Account and spent “over N767million or 30 per cent” on hotel bills and reservations at the Transcorsp Hotel, Abuja.
The committee, which is chaired by Mr. Solomon Olamilekan, found out that the money was released to the Danjuma committee by the Budget Office of the Federation on the directive of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.
The Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation had queried the expenditure and referred the matter to the House for investigation.
At its sitting on Wednesday, the committee summoned the SGF, Chief Anyim Pius Anyim, to explain the role of his office in the controversial expenditure.
It also summoned the management of Transcorp to come with documents to prove that the N767m was indeed spent on bills at the hotel by the Danjuma committee.
There was a mild drama when the DG, Budget Office, Dr. Bright Okogu, tried to absolve his office of blame on how the money was applied.
This happened when the committee said his office would account for the money if there was evidence that it went into private pockets.
Okogu argued that his office merely “acted on instructions” by the SGF to release the money to the Danjuma committee, adding that whatever happened thereafter did not concern the office.
He stated, “These funds you mentioned were not spent by the budget office. There were directives to release money to agencies, to put the records straight.
“The PAC was under the SGF and the chairman was T.Y. Danjuma. It was an ad-hoc committee that did its assignment and it folded up.”
Okogu vehemently rejected the position of the committee that he should either produce the members of the PAC or account for the money himself.
“No, no; I cannot account for the money; the budget office did not spend the money”, he insisted.