INVESTIGATION: How officials steal Lagos local government dry [Part 3]

LAGBUS BRT Lagos

Official vehicles allocated to past political office holders in Ikeja local government area of Lagos State were not returned at the expiration of their tenure, a 2012 audited report of the council’s books have shown.

Also, no amount was paid by the affected politicians for the cars in compliance with a circular issued by the Lagos State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs on boarded official vehicles, the documents seen by PREMIUM TIMES have revealed.

“The Executive Chairman, the Council Manager, the Treasurer, the Engineer and the Council H.R.O did not explain this anomaly,” the report of the Auditor-General for Local Governments stated.

The Report of the Auditor-General on the Accounts of Ikeja local government for the year ended 31st December, 2012, revealed that five official vehicles – one Cerato 1.6L car and four Kia Rio cars – allocated to past political office holders were unaccounted for.

Audit queries LGA/INSP/IKJLG/Q.6/F4/2012 of 6th February, 2013, and LGA/INSP/IKLG/Q.7/F3/2012 of 7th November, 2012, issued to the concerned officials were not satisfactorily answered, the report noted.

The audit report recommended the sanction of the council chairman, council manager, treasurer, human resources officer, and engineer in accordance with F.M (Financial Memoranda of the Lagos State Public Finance Management Law 2011) 39.3 (a) 14 which states that the amount for the cars must be recovered “within 30 days soonest.”

Also, an examination of the Advance Ledger of the council showed that N1.4 million represented advances to both political office holders and pensionable staff which were not recovered as at the period under review.

“This is contrary to F.M.16.12 which states that ‘Personal advances, including any administrative charge must be repaid in regular monthly instalment deducted at source from monthly salary payments, the first instalment being payable in the month following that in which the advance was paid,” said the report.

“The Council Treasurer should be sanctioned in accordance with F.M.39.3(c)1 which states that ‘all losses shall be recovered from or surcharged against the defaulting office, where no losses are involved the defaulting officer shall be warned,” it added.

Again, audit query LGA/INSP/IKLG/Q.5/F4/2012 of 6th February, 2013, to the Council Treasurer was not responded to.

An audit examination of the council’s payment vouchers revealed that the local government defrayed N540,000 for various purposes during the period under review without proper accountability, since evidences showing that the expenditure was actually incurred were not attached to the payment voucher nor provided on demand.

“This is contrary to F.M.14.17 which states inter-alia that ‘An official printed receipt must be obtained and attached to the payment voucher in respect of a payment to Government, another Local Government or a Commercial Firm. If the printed receipt covers more than one payment voucher to which the receipt is attached, it shall be entered on the other vouchers.”

“Audit queries Nos.LGA/INSP/IKLG/Q.6/F1/2012 of 9th May, 2012; LGA/INSP/IKLG/Q.5/2012/F3 of 7th November, 2012; and LGA/INSP/IKLG/Q.8/2012/F4 of 6th February, 2013 issued were not responded to.

“This is sanctionable under the provision of F.M.39.3(a)6 which states ‘That within 21 days the affected officer should be surcharged and transferred to another schedule’ while the political office holder should be reported to the Governor and House of Assembly (PAC).

“The Council Manager, Council Treasurer, and the various Vote Controllers should be sanctioned accordingly.”

‘Doubtful expenditure’

Under the sub-heading ‘Doubtful Expenditure,’ the report noted that payment vouchers totalling N460,000 paid to local government officials to defray sundry expenses were dubious and characterized by several irregularities.

“The payments were either not accounted for or retired with self generated receipts; payments were made without being controlled by vote controller; or payment vouchers were not receipted contrary to F.M 14.16,” the report said.

F.M 14.16 states that ‘Payment vouchers shall be receipted by the payee or his authorized agent, and the receipt must state clearly in words and figures the actual amount received and not simply “Received the above amount.” Where the payee is illiterate, his mark shall be obtained and a responsible official, other than the paying officer, shall certify that the amount appearing on the voucher was paid to the proper payee.’

The penalty for the contravention of this Section, according to F.M 39:3(a)6, is surcharging the affected officer within 21 days and transferring him/her to another schedule, while the political office holder is reported to the Governor and House of Assembly.

Audit query No. LGA/INSP/IKLG/Q.9/f3/2012 of 7th November 2012 issued to the council was ignored, the report added.

The Ikeja local government also failed to remit N32.5 million statutory deductions withholding taxes for the period under review to the appropriate agencies contrary to section 19.2(11) of the Guidelines on Administrative procedure for Local Governments 2011.

Furthermore, the statement of cashflow in the financial statements for the year under review did not show the true cashflow trend for several reasons, according to the report.

“The total receipt excluding balance b/f of N579,526,183.62 was at variance with audit cash receipts of N580,776,183.62; the Council Treasurer failed to reconcile the sum of N204,747,401.30 representing purchase and construction of assets with figures in note 6. Also, detailed explanation of advances and loans acquired were not contained in the Financial Statements,” the report added.

Phone calls to Wale Odunlami, the Chairman of Ikeja local government, did not go through. Text messages were not responded to.

A Freedom of Information Request to the Ikeja local government, filed in July, on the claims highlighted in the audit report as well as why it ignored the Auditor-General’s repeated audit queries was not responded to.

Read Part 1 of this report here,  and Part 2 here.


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  • Uzoma

    I note, for the record, that the caption of this piece is: “How officials steal Lagos local govts dry”, not “How officials perpetrate acts of corruption in Lagos local govts”. Might the vindication of Jonathan who warned against confusing outright stealing with corruption be finally around the corner?

    • Roland

      @ Uzoma:

      Ha, ha, but this is not governance at all but the outright stealing of Lagos state treasury!
      Anything capable of being stolen is stolen by these useless Lagos government officials.
      State cash and capital assets are stolen away right inside Lagos councils by the officials.
      No brake, no jam, no horn; just stealing; stealing, and stealing all the way..haba, ACN/APC!
      What is progressive about these wicked official thefts? What example is APC setting for youths?

      • No Comment

        “Several Nigerian journalists who call black white; and, whitewash criminals for brown envelopes,
        will not escape the imminent revolutionary cleansing of Nigeria, because with their pens they wrote
        to defend the ruination of their own country, by laundering official thieves as ‘great men’; thus aiding evil.”

        “Nigerian journalists go as far as describing some of these brazen thieves as ‘Man of the Year’. But now, there is no immunity for journalism in a revolution. These insane writers will be subjected to the same pain and penalty as the official thieves and corrupt creatures they cover up”.

        …………..The Revolutionary

        [June 11th, 2013]

        • Bolade Paul Animashaun

          Dear Editor

          I now support the policy just announced by the Lagos state PDP –
          that, both Raji Fashola and Bola Tinubu shall be probed for thefts.
          That is how democracy should be, there must be accountability.

          The result of the probe should lead to detention and trial for thefts
          and to the full recovery of all stolen funds from the Lagos treasury.
          Sentencing to long terms of imprisonment under the law should follow.

          • Conscience

            Maybe a reason why Ekiti people did not vote for APC – who knows?

  • G4

    They are all the same.

    • Weydem

      “And now the conclusion seems to be inescapable in Nigeria
      that what we have as leaders in politics, business and the civil service
      are common thieves in high places. “The rot is so deep that stealing is now
      in the family system, in the religious system; even in friendly and social clubs.
      Everybody is looking for somebody else to steal from.”

      “The day our leaders decide they don’t need James Ibori’s kind of wealth
      or Cecilia Ibru’s kind of property acquisition, that a good name is better than
      material acquisition; and that leadership at the end of the day, is about people
      and leaving a place better than you met it, is the day Nigeria will begin a positive walk
      into sanity and propriety. Until then, Nigeria is just a nation of common thieves.”

      …….………..Muyiwa Adetiba

      Pioneer Editor,
      Vanguard Newspaper,
      (June 15, 2013)

  • the truth

    Corruption in Lagos too? I thought this state was the utopia of how Nigeria should be governed.

    • William Norris

      Face the truth ….There is corruption in EVERY GOVERNMENT IN THE WORLD. People hate corruption done by OUTSIDERS. That is why the British don’t mind maintaining their Royal Family. What is more corrupt than that system?

      That is why the Yoruba have tolerated Lagos corruption for so long. The stolen money stays in Yoruba hands. They wouldn’t be so quiet if it was done by a political party dominated by NON YORUBA people where Lagos wealth flows to other tribes.

      That’s the key to progress in Nigeria. The country needs a system where each tribe can have complete control over its political and economic affairs. Tribal autonomy is the answer.

      • Enemona

        How warped, what a comment!

  • Baba Messi

    With APC, we must “See no evil, Hear no evil, & Speak no evil”, lest we are abused and insulted by their Internet terrorists.
    So, to give em a soft landing, let’s say it’s ‘just’ stealing & not corruption.
    UP APC!
    Association of-Past & Present-Criminals!!

    • By Popular Demand

      THE LAGOS FISH ROTS FROM RAJI FASHOLA’S HEAD….

      Lagos state government has earned $40 billion in revenues between 1999 and now.
      The money – less salary and running expenses – was partly shared between Bola Tinubu,
      and Raji Fashola under corporate guise in the worst scam ever in modern Yoruba history.
      Lagos state recently floated a loan bond of about 80 billion Naira and got public investors to subscribe
      for repayment with interest but once the bond was fully subscribed, Raji Fashola took 40% of that money
      – about 35 billion Naira or so – and handed it over in cash to Bola Tinubu, via a bogus corporate front.

      This patently corrupt deal was ostensibly to buy back Lagos state ‘concession rights’ on the Lekki
      tolled Expressway, according to Raji Fashola. But what the corrupt and clever by half Raji Fashola did not say is that the land at issue belongs to Lagos state and was never sold to Bola Tinubu’s company in the first place.
      Or did Bola Tinubu’s company invest 35 billion Naira developing the road. In other words, by sheer fraud,
      Raji Fashola paid Bola Tinubu 25 years profit upfront without any further work.

      A lien was then imposed on Lagos state allocation of federal revenue for the next three [3] years
      to pay for this 80 billion Naira debt by all Lagos residents. This transaction must count as the worst fraud
      ever in Yoruba history since Nigeria became independent on October 1, 1960.

      In fact, On May 21st, 2014, the Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Ayodeji Gbeleyi, confirmed that Lagos state debts, as at May 2014, stood at N435 billion – including N275 billion in bonds – equivalent to 2.7 billion
      United States dollars. Now, discounting monthly interest rates on the commercial portion of this debt, the gross Lagos state government debt is now equal to all of the expected federal revenue allocation to Lagos state in the next two and half years, at $3.7 billion, without equivalent benefits on the ground to show for it – dollar for dollar.

      • Johnson Alabi

        “There cannot be peace and harmony where there is wide disparity between
        the few rich and multitude of the poor. Our society and economy are in tatters
        in a highly competitive world; our children are missing out in getting qualitative
        and functional education; the masses of our people are now chained down in
        dehumanizing and grinding poverty while we continue to maintain a few islands
        of false prosperity in a turbulent ocean of penury and squalor.”

        ……………General T.Y Danjuma
        (May 24th, 2014)

        • Titi Doherty (Lagos Island)

          @ By Popular Demand:

          Don’t feel sorry for Lagosians in their stasis and smelly poverty – please, don’t.
          They are not victims of anything else but their own idiocy. They’ll be robbed for it.
          Sensible people should feel insulted when told they have no right to Freedom of Information.
          But Lagosians clapped for Raji Fashola who told Lagosians they have no freedom of information.

        • William Norris

          Imagine quoting the Big Thief Danjuma lol!
          NIGERIA!

        • Conscience

          Thesame General T.Y Danjuma is among those people that is destroying this country – let him tell us his involvement in Malabo Oil

  • Baba Messi

    You mean of HOW NIGERIA SHOULD NOT BE GOVERNED!

    What I find baffling is why the APC self acclaimed ‘anti corruption crusaders’ suddenly lose their cracked voices when a hot topic like this comes up. All we will hear are excuses excuses EXCUSES!
    My wife just had triplets.
    My mother-in-law is in a coma,
    I have ‘Jedi-Jedi’,
    I just left Switzerland for Sambisa (Wähala),
    Etc..etc.
    White Washed Tombs..ALL of them!

  • Tunsj

    When you read this article, you feel sorry for Lagos State and Nigeria. What is the difference between APC and PDP? These criminals and thieves have destroyed Lagos State.

    • ed

      The difference is the name and the players. The goal and value are the same.

      • Tunde Savage

        @ Tunsj:

        Oh, now you can see why supine sheep will always be devoured by erect wolves.
        Lagosians claim to be educated but show symptoms of retardation for the most part.
        Properly educated people are vigilant on matters of public affairs; but not Lagosians.
        Lagosians wave brooms at election time, once in four years, but sleep off thereafter.

        Raji Fashola and Bola Tinubu take the community’s lands and assets to their own families.
        Lagosians are mostly ignorant and arrogant and that’s a sure-fire recipe of political idiocy.
        They do not demand public accounts and do not care if their taxes are used and not stolen.
        Between voluntary slaves, and Lagos residents, the difference in atitude is not much.

    • Sola A. Adegeye

      Dear Tunsj,

      Stealing is the ideology of Lagos state ACN/APC under Raji Fashola and Bola Tinubu.
      Thinking is out of the window. No progress is possible under the rule of thieves in Lagos.
      Once Lagos people wake up to this first truth they’ll be saved from imminent utter ruins.
      With 80% school cert failure since 1999 Lagos state has become a wasteland of illiterates.

      • Tunsj

        Sola, well said. The voters in Lagos state will still vote for these criminals and thieves. Are they blind?

  • George

    If any one want to know what is actually going on in Lagos State that person must check out how OBASA IDOWU made his money. He was Ignibbibo local government chairman today he has more than four houses at Allen, three in Ghana and many other places.

    APC is worst than PDP

  • Words on Marble

    “Don’t feel sorry for Lagosians in their stasis and smelly poverty – please, don’t.
    They are not victims of anything else but their own idiocy. They’ll be robbed for it.
    Sensible people should feel insulted when told they have no right to Freedom of Information.
    But Lagosians clapped for Raji Fashola who told Lagosians they have no freedom of information.”

    …………………Titi Doherty
    [September 28, 2014]

    • Folabi Adubi

      Mr Words on Marble,

      But how about the raft of criminal accomplices in Lagos calling themselves civil rights activists?

      And the mushroom of human rights groups, including Lagos lawyers, did they not clap too?
      Look, the problem with Lagosians is not the sea of illiterate masses alone; bad as those are.

      The problem lies within the educated co-conspirators now living by plunder of the state treasury.
      Tell me one civil rights activist or human rights activist who so much did as complain when Raji Fashola
      filed an affidavit publicly in court of law and deposing in it that Lagosians have no right whatsoever to any

      freedom of information? Just mention one civil rights activist who complained? Mention just one. None did!

      • Dave

        As long as Fashola is from their constituency, who matters? But one thing is certain, some pple can be fooled sometimes but all d pple will not b fooled all d time. That time is very near.

  • emmanuel

    Is Ben Ezeamalu paid to rubbish Surulerr and Ikeja LG chairs by some ambitious fellows? Why is he using the changes from what the rodues have tolen for the case against them?

    Let him tell us how Lagos state funds have been used to run projects and PPP schemes which were handled to the god fathers without paying a kobo.

    We are not deceived by these trash.

  • Dave

    It’s well known to even d blind that Lagos has been a cesspool of corruption.

  • William Norris

    The sad truth is that APC will still win the governorship of Lagos and most other Yoruba States and there’s NOTHING anyone can do about it. The people of Lagos don’t mind being robbed by their own, better them than the PDP. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Problem comes if APC ever wins the Presidency and tries to do this kind of nonsense with Niger Delta petro-dollars.

    It’s time to restructure Nigeria and let each tribe deal with their own affairs.

  • Mrs. Hannah Nwanze (Lekki)

    @ Ayelala:

    APC in Lagos state is NOT the meaning of ‘change’. Stealing is not the ‘change’ we need in Lagos state.
    We need clean and financially transparent government. APC party steals a lot and does not give accounts.
    We can do without APC to save ourselves from thieves. No country tolerates the type of thefts by APC party.

  • Conscience

    Hmn!!!!!!!!!! so political office holders in APC also do steal. I am sure many of those people calling Ekiti names for casting their votes for PDP (Fayose) are from this state – what is the different between PDP and APC. Reding through peoples’ comments here – Lagos APC is worst than Ekiti PDP. People praise Fashola but i am sure if the exact internal generated revenue of Lagos State together with Federal allocation are declared – no one will praise Fashola for good work.

    People say Fayose is a thug but thank God someone mentioned here how Raji Fashola and Bola Tinubu take the community’s lands and assets to their own families (these land were not just taking like that but with the use of Thugs, area boys and some security guys) – Lekki/Ajah people can shed more light on this.