OrderPaperToday – The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has been accused of involvement in a N110.4 million scam payment to ghost workers.

The senate has accordingly decided to invite Mr. Dibu Ojerinde, a former registrar of JAMB to provide explanations in the event that his successor and incumbent helmsman, Ishaq Oloyede, is unable to give satisfactory answers to the allegation.

Chairman of the Senate committee on Public Accounts, Mathew Urhoghide, briefed journalists on this matter on Sunday.

Ojerinde was in charge of JAMB between 2007 and 2016.

The allegation is contained in the report of the Auditor General of the Federation, OAuGF, Anthony Ayinde submitted to the committee for investigation.

The said ghost workers were removed from payroll before the end of 2013 but they collected emoluments between one to 23 months.

Part of the report reads: “Examination of the records of the Board revealed that in 2012 and 2013, 70 and 65 employees respectively were found on the payroll but not on the nominal roll. The request for the personal files of the affected employees for verification of their status was not granted.

“The Registrar/Chief Executive was requested to forward the personal files of the employees for verification in order to authenticate them as bona fide staff of the board. However, his response with reference number JAMB/FIN/127/Vol.2/181 dated 24th May, 2016 did not provide the documents requested.

“It was also observed that 66 persons were removed from the payroll before the end of 2013. These persons were in the payroll for between one month and 23 months each, during which period they received emoluments totaling N110,481,985.00.

“No evidence was shown that these officers who presumably resigned their appointments or absconded, were legitimate employees of the board and that they gave or paid one month salary in lieu of notice before they left the employment of the board.

“The Registrar/Chief Executive was requested to account for the total emoluments paid to these officers in the sum of N110,481,985.00. However, his response with reference number JAMB/FIN/127/Vol.2/181 dated 24th May, 2016 did not address the query satisfactorily.”

Ayinde in the report further indicted Oderinde of not deducting N1.1 million tax from the payments made in respect of consultancy services.

“Tax liability amounting to N1.164,550.59 was not deducted from two payments for consultancy services to a single vendor on payment voucher numbers 6407 of 2/11/13 and 6833 of 26/3/2013 for N13, 074,790.00 and N10,216,221.75 respectively.

“The board deducted withholding tax at the rate of 5 per cent instead of 10 per cent, resulting in loss of government revenue. The Registrar/Chef Executive was requested to recover the amount of N1,164,216,221.75 and pay to the Federal Inland Revenue Service with evidence of payment forwarded to my office.

“However, his response with reference number JAMB/FIN/127/Vol.2/181 dated 24th May, 2016 did not address the issue satisfactorily. Examination of the board audited accounts revealed 11 bank accounts operated in 2012 and 2013 but the bank statements as well as cash books were not presented for audit examination, despite repeated demands for them.

“This is contrary to financial regulation 110 which provides that the Auditor General and the Accountant General or their representatives shall at all reasonable times, have free access to books of account., files , safes, security documents and other records and information relating to the accounts of all federal ministries,/extra ministerial offices and other arms of government”, the report reads.

This is not the first time the National Assembly would be probing alleged financial misconduct in JAMB as the House of Reps in 2017 embarked on a similar exercise over a N31bn unremitted fund claim.

Recall that in April, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) secured an interim forfeiture of Ojerinde’s properties following an ongoing investigation.

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