The Civil Society Network Against Corruption, CSNAC, a coalition of anti-corruption groups in the country, has filed a Freedom of Information, FOI, request for a copy of the Auditor-General’s Report on the Special Audit of Accounts of Civil Pensions.
In a letter dated September 22 and addressed to the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, the group demanded a copy of the report for the period between 2005 and 2010 financial years.
Last week, PREMIUM TIMES had published a damning report by the Office of Nigeria’s Auditor General indicting Stephen Oronsaye, a former Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, over an alleged N123 billion fraud perpetrated during his tenure in 2009 – 2010.
The 169-page report titled ‘Special Audit of the Accounts of the Civil Pensions’ found Mr. Oronsaye guilty of allegedly presiding over the looting of the nation’s resources during his tenure.
The audit, which covered the period 2005 to 2010, exposed monumental financial irregularities, opaque transactions, irregular and abnormal running costs, and outright stealing and kick-backs said to have reached its zenith during the 18 months that Mr. Oronsaye served as Head of Service.
But shortly after the report was published, the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation issued a disclaimer in some major Nigerian dailies refuting the claims and distancing the office from the report.
Samuel Ukura, the Auditor General, in the statement said that his office “totally and vehemently dissociates itself from the malicious and character assassination” of Mr. Oronsaye.
PREMIUM TIMES, however, fired back, standing by its report with evidence – a copy of the audit and describing Mr. Ukura as a “spineless, unprofessional official unfit for the position he has been given.”
CSNAC, a coalition of over 150 anti-corruption organizations, said that the FOI request to the Auditor General’s office is to seek clarification.
“We find this confusing and a huge embarrassment to the nation,” the group said in the letter signed by Adeola Abodunrin, Programme Manager.
“As a coalition charged with the onus of constructively combating corruption and to ensure the enthronement of transparency, accountability and probity in our Nation, we desire clarification that is based on facts mad verifiable evidences which can only be provided by a copy of the report, where it exists.”
The group said that its request is in accordance with the Section 1 (2), (3), (4) of the Freedom of Information Act, 2011.
“We look forward to receiving these documents promptly and, in any event, within 7 days of the receipt of this application as provided for in the Freedom of Information Act, 2011,” the letter added.