How Govt Agency ‘illegally Sold SUV Worth N18m To Top Official At N750k

Mr. Yakubu Tsala, former chairman, board of The Lake Chad Research Institute, Maiduguri, Borno State, bought a Prado Jeep worth N18 million at the speed of N750,000, consistent with the agency.

According to an information on its website, the Lake Chad Research Institute (LCRI) is liable for researching the development of millet and wheat.

In 2017, the office of the Auditor-General for the Federation had queried the institute over alleged disappearance of two SUVs.

Upon investigation, it said the Prado Jeeps were procured in 2013 and 2014 but were sold three years after.

The report is being considered by the Senate Public Accounts Committee, chaired by Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo).

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The audit query reads, “Management of the Institute couldn’t account for two Nos. Toyota Prado Jeeps which were purchased in 2013 & 2014 with registration No. 45KOIFG for one Jeep and none for the opposite.

“No reason was given for not registering the second Prado Jeep. additionally, a Toyota Hiace bus with registration No. 45KO3FG couldn’t be accounted for during audit.

“This may be a violation of monetary Regulation 2128 which states that “Every public officer is personally and pecuniary liable for government property under his control or in his custody.

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“Inability of the management of the Institute to account for state property under their custody suggests abuse and mismanagement, as government property may are diverted to non-public use.

“The executive is required to account for the vehicles. the difficulty was communicated to the chief Director through my Audit Inspection Report Ref. No. EIAD/WTR 16/CORP/4 dated 21st December 2017 but he did not respond.”

The institute during a written response said, “The vehicle (Prado Jeep) was purchased on 21st March, 2014 at the value of N18.7 million and therefore the former executive, Dr.Oluwasina Olabanji, sought the approval of ARCN (Agricultural Research Council Of Nigeria) for boarding the vehicle to the previous chairman board, Mr. Yakubu Tsala at the value of N750,000 only.”

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The second Prado Jeep, consistent with the institute, was purchased on 18th September, 2013 at the value of N12.4 million, and request for approval to board the vehicle was written to ARCN dated on June 7th , 2017.”

The Senate panel therefore ordered the institute’s executive, Dr. Alhassan Bibinu to seem before it alongside the previous executive, who gave order for selling off the 2 Prado Jeeps.

Source:- Daily Trust

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