SERAP asks ICPC to investigate alleged stealing of N224 million by local councils in Lagos

A civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Ekpo Nta to “urgently and transparently investigate allegations of corruption in Lagos State Councils and to bring to justice suspected perpetrators”.

The petition followed a government audit of 57 local councils in Lagos State, which allegedly indicted eight councils of stealing and mismanaging at least N224 millions of public funds on a range of questionable expenditures and unimplemented contracts.

In the petition dated November 24, and signed by SERAP’s Senior Staff Counsel, Olukayode Majekodunmi, the group expressed “serious concern about the content of 2012 government audit report and the inability of the government to fully and effectively address the issues raised by the report”.

“This situation can only continue to exacerbate the increasing level of violation of the citizens’ internationally recognized economic and social rights including the right to adequate food, to quality education, to water, and to accessible and adequate health services,” the group said.

The group also said that, “Large-scale corruption such as the one mentioned above exposes majority of the citizens to a “double jeopardy”- on the one hand these people are subjected to hardship of immense proportion; while they are also denied the freedom to explore, on the basis of free enterprise, novel and legitimate ways towards individual development and prosperity, the most convenient path out of absolute poverty.”

According to the group, “The allegations also constitute grave breaches of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Act 2000 and the UN Convention against Corruption which Nigeria has ratified. Specifically, sections 16 and 19 of the Corrupt Practices Act would appeared to have been violated going by the clear contents of the audit report. The UN Convention against Corruption contains similar prohibitions, and imposes clear obligations on Nigeria to investigate allegations of corruption such as the present case; prosecute suspected perpetrators and ensure return of the proceeds of corruption.”

The group also urged Mr. Nta to use his leadership position to ensure that the allegations are fully and transparently investigated, and that the findings of the investigation are made public.

According to the group, “the audit assessment reportedly accused the following Local Councils of wasting public funds: Agbado Oke –Odo, Surulere, Coker-Aguda, Egbe-Idimu, Eredo, Iba, Ikosi-Isheri and Lagos Island East. The report also established cases of corrupt practices and other cases of financial recklessness in Eti Osa, Mainland and Somolu and some other local councils failed to remit statutory deductions from contracts awarded to the tune of N40.9m.”

“In Surulere, auditors reportedly found that N17.5m as against the agreed N12.8m which was the 30 percent of the mobilization sum was paid to a contractor for the installation of a Colour Led Display solution screen at Masha Road, Lagos State Water Corporation Junction in the local government. Even so, the project has not taken off since February 2011 when the agreement was signed. The report also mentioned spurious expenditure totalling N1.3m was made by staff on behalf of the Local Council,” the group also said.

“At Egbe-Idimu LCDA, a total of N29.1m was unaccounted for, according to the audit report. The officials at Eredo LCDA also made unauthorized excess expenditure totalling N15m in 2012 just as 52 payment vouchers amounting to N30.2m and duly paid and posed in treasury cashbook were not produced for audit verification. The report also indicted officials of Iba LCDA for overpayment of security allowance to the chairman to the tune of N2m in 2012,” the group added.

Signed
Olukayode Majekodunmi
Senior Staff Counsel
26/11/2014


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  • Uncle Savage

    RAJI FASHOLA AND THE STEALING OF $40b LAGOS FUNDS

    Lagos state government under Alhaji Raji Fashola is the headquarters of stealing.
    As a result, Lagos state government is now owing a trillion Naira in debts today.
    Between 2007 and now, Raji Fashola received more than seven [7] billion dollars
    in federal revenue allocation. He also received another 11 billion U.S dollars
    in internally generated revenue in the same period; totalling 18 billion U.S dollars.

    All this money without a single functioning public school or running city transport
    to show for it. The state’s BRT bus system (a pilfered idea) has all but collapsed
    with barely 15% of the BRT bus fleet left, due to ruinous official thefts,
    all within three years of the (shambolic) BRT operation.

    Alhaji Raji Fashola sank Lagos state with his financially un-accountable governance.
    Despite the 18 billion dollars he’s received from 2007 till date, and without rendering
    Lagos state public accounts to the people till now, Alhaji Raji Fashola has today
    incurred a whopping 3.7 billion dollars in debts on the necks of all Lagosians.

    Now, taking into account that between 1999 and now, Lagos state earned $40 billion dollars
    in revenues, nobody in Lagos state today, not even the most rabid Islamists in government
    offices, can point to 40-billion-dollar worth of amenities or services provided Lagosians.
    Between Raji Fashola and Bola Tinubu the 40 billion dollars was instead split, shared,
    pocketed and squandered through self-owned companies.

  • favourtalk

    That’s the best the government can do, they did the foreignsic audit themselves and task the ICPC to come and do the needful. What about those in power in abuja, did the federal government even do anything except the people sneefing around themselves?? We need a change evrywhere, where people will be able to say the truth always….Lagos is an example to all state and federal government. We need transformation for things to work well.

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  • Frank Bassey

    Corruption has two colours in Nigeria. Pure White when in occurs at state and LG levels; and Dark Red when it happens at federal level. The immediate elder sister of the Governor, Ms. Yinka Fashola, handles the Lagos residents registration exercise on which
    nothing less N7 billion was said to have been expended in 12 months during which only 164,000 people were registered under the project. Mathematically, it translated to N42,682,926.82 to register one person. Lagos is working; Fashola is working; BAT is working.