The immediate past Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Alhaji Mohammed Bukar, who worked under the Minister, Babatunde Fashola, has been asked to explain the mismanagement of over N2.5 billion road contracts in 2017 and 2018 under his watch.
According to a government report obtained by SaharaReporters, the PS is alleged to have mismanaged the funds under his watch, at that time when the Ministry was Power, Works and Housing.
According to the annual report of the Auditor-General of the Federation on the accounts of the Federation of Nigeria for the year ended, December 31, 2018, obtained by SaharaReporters, Fashola's former PS is alleged to have awarded contracts beyond his threshold.
One of such was the "emergency repairs of the Talabu Bridge along the Tegina-Mokwa Road in Niger State, which cost N2.5 billion."
The report indicting Fashola's former PS partly reads, "Issue one; Contract for the purchase of project monitoring vehicles without due process - N343,833,338.00. Section 24(1) of the Public Procurement Act, 2007 states that “except as provided by this Act, all procurements of goods and works by all procuring entities shall be conducted by open competitive bidding.
"Audit observed that the sum of N343,833,338 was paid for the purchase of 36 project monitoring vehicles without following due process. Further examination revealed that the 36 vehicles were not received into store as there was no documents to show such delivery.
"The Permanent Secretary is required to account for the sum of N343,833,338.00. All affected officials should be sanctioned in line with Financial Regulation 3106.
"Issue two: The Public Procurement Act 2007 Section 16 states “Subject to any exemption allowed by this Act, all public procurement shall be conducted: (a) subject to the prior review thresholds as may from time to time beset by the Bureau pursuant to Section 7(1) (a)-(b).
"The audit observed that N2,500,000,000 contract was awarded by the Ministry in violation of Bureau of public procurements revised threshold for service wide application which requires approval from the Federal Executive Council.
"The Ministry awarded the contract without Federal Executive Council approval in violation of chapter 16 (I) of the public procurement act 2007.
"The Permanent Secretary is required to account for the sum of N289,461,035.44 paid in breach of Public Procurement act 2007, Section 16(2). Sanctions in line with Financial Regulation 3106 should apply to all affected officials."
SaharaReporters had on Thursday reported that the civil servant the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission recovered N1 billion was a Permanent Secretary in the same Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
The EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa had in May while appearing before the Senate Committee on Finance said the agency recovered over N1 billion from the bank account of a civil servant.
“It is good for us to observe for now and wait for your committee to conclude its work so that whatever report you have and anyone that your committee decides, we are ready to take it up from there,” he had said.
“We have recovered over N1 billion sitting in the account of a civil servant last week.”
Bawa, however, refused to mention the name of the individual civil servant.
Speaking to SaharaReporters on Thursday, a source at the anti-graft agency identified the civil servant as a Permanent Secretary working with Fashola.
“The civil servant the chairman was talking about is the Permanent Secretary working directly with Fashola,” the source had said.