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Documents authorizing N2.2bn spending missing, Justice Ministry tells Senators

The Ministry of Justice yesterday said the documents pertaining to the request and approval for collection of N2.2bn from the Service Wide Vote were missing.…

The Ministry of Justice yesterday said the documents pertaining to the request and approval for collection of N2.2bn from the Service Wide Vote were missing.

Permanent Secretary, Beatrice Jeddy-Agba, stated this while appearing before the Senate Public Accounts Committee, probing over 200 government agencies over the N5trn received from SWV between 2017 and 2021.

The committee had last month asked the ministry to provide documentary evidence approving N2.2bn for it from the contingency fund.

Jeddy-Agba told the panel yesterday that the ministry’s Finance and Account Department could not find the documents.

She insisted that the request was made by the ministry and approval was given for the release of the money.

“They’ve checked for the documents but could not find it. It’s quite unfortunate. The Department of Finance and Account is responsible. I can assure that this request was made but they could not find the request and approval letters,” she told the committee.

The panel’s chairman, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, said the submission by the permanent secretary, would only mean extra-budgetary spending.

“We’ve not seen any letter of approval/request. It only means extra-budgetary spending.

“It’s not nice that you cannot find the approval and request letters. The recommendations of the committee will not be nice,” Urhoghide said. 

The committee gave the ministry one more week to provide the request and approval documents for the N2.2bn.