The Senate Public Accounts Committee has queried the Ministry of Justice over N2.2bn unaccounted expenditure between 2017 and 2021.
The committee said the fund was part of the fund received by the ministry from the Service Wide Vote (SWV), the government’s contingency fund in the annual budget. The panel, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide, is probing more than 200 government agencies over N5trn received from SWV from 2017 to 2021.
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Urhoghide said records from the Office of Accountant-General of the Federation showed that N955m was released to the Ministry of Justice from SWV in 2017 for “critical needs.”
He, however, said the record made available by the ministry showed N549m; while the balance of N406 could not be accounted for.
In 2018, he said, the ministry claimed to have received N492m, but the releases from the Office of the Accountant-General showed that N591m was released. “The sum of N99m is yet to be accounted for.”
He also said documents made available to the committee showed that the ministry got N650m from the vote in 2019, but the ministry officials failed to produce any record.
In 2021, N1.4bn was released from the Office of Accountant-General, but the ministry claimed to have received N400m.
Responding, the ministry’s permanent secretary, Beatrice Jeddy-Agba, promised to look for relevant documents concerning the expenditure and present same to the committee.