The Chairman of Somolu Local Government Area, Hon Abdul Hammed Salawu unilaterally approved N14,195,000.00 in 2019 without recourse to the council’s Executive Committee’s (EXCO), official documents seen by SaharaReporters have shown.
“Audit Inspection of accounts and records of the Local Government revealed that the sum of N14,195,000.00 was approved by the chairman without recourse to the Executive Committee’s (EXCO) approval,” the 2019 report of the Lagos State Auditor-General for Local Governments stated.
The report also showed a series of official graft by the Salawu-led Executive arm of the local government.
Some official queries sent by the Auditor-General to the local government were also not responded to.
The audit report recommended the sanction of the council chairman, council manager and treasurer.
They were accused of numerous financial irregularities, including awarding millions of naira worth of non-executed contracts in 2019.
“Out of the period budgeted expenditure of N2,145,262,405.08, further investigations of heads by heads showed excess expenditure amounting to N74,457,520.11 recorded under Sixteen (16) Heads and Twenty-six (26) sun heads,” the report read.
“This is contrary to F.M 13.11 (2) which states that 'An officer controlling a vote, his deputy or any person with an Authority to Incur Expenditure (A.I.E) shall be personally responsible for seeing that expenditure is not authorised in excess of the approved votes for the items under his control.'”
“You should explain why appropriate sanctions in accordance with provisions of F.M 39.3 (a) 13. The Laws and the circulars states above should not be imposed on you for these lapses. All officers queried for this transaction as listed above May forward an advance copy of their response to this office. Your response should reach this office not later than two weeks of acknowledgement of this report.
“Audit examination of the revenue accounts and relevant records revealed that contract agreements were made between the Local Government and revenue consultants for the collection of revenue items such as tricycle tolls, okada tolls, kiosks and counter permit and Local Government Hall within the Local Government during the period under review. Audit investigation revealed that the sum of N7,956,500.00 was unremitted as at 30th September, 2019.
“This is contrary to F.M.1.14 (6) which states that 'All revenue due are collected promptly and paid into the Local Government funds'”. In like manner, the contract agreement in respect of Night Market tolls was not made available despite repeated demand.
“You should explain why appropriate sanctions in accordance with provisions of F.M 39.3 (a) 13. The Laws and the circulars states above should not be imposed on you for these lapses. All officers queried for this transaction as listed above May forward an advance copy of their response to this office. Your response should reach this office not later than two weeks of acknowledgement of this report.”
The audit query LGA/INSP/SMLG/Q.3/2019/F3 also revealed that about N12 million was disbursed for projects not executed.
“The amount for the purchase of buses was highly inflated.
“Physical inspection of projects revealed that N12,331,195.75 was disbursed for projects not executed. It was noted that projects which were executed through direct labour were not done as discovered during physical inspection.”