Fraud has been uncovered in the Nigerian law school by the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation.
The infractions and fraud uncovered during the audit ranged from outright misappropriation to spending without approval and diversion of pension, as contained in the 2015 Auditor-General’s report submitted to the Senate Committee on Public Account.
Nine queries were issued by the Office of the Auditor-General of Federation to the management of Nigerian Law School in 2015, according to the report.
The Auditor-General queried the payment of N36 million as dressing allowance through the account of one of the staff for 52 others without approval and in violation of Nigeria’s Financial Act.
“The Examination of payment records revealed that the Nigerian Law School several times paid N36 million to staff as dressing allowance in 2013 alone.
“The Management could not substantiate these payments with any approval from Salaries and Wages Commission to enable the audit team to determine the genuineness of these payments to staff. No appropriation in this request,” the report said.
The report also indicted the law school for paying N32 million to an unnamed cleaner over a period of 12 months against Nigeria extant laws.
The queries also said that N34.3 million was paid for the training of staff without approval from the federal government.
The management of the institution, led by its Director-General, Prof. Isa Chiroma, appeared before the Senate panel on Thursday to defend queries. The Director-General of the Nigerian Law School, Prof. Isa Chiroma, while responding to the queries, said that he was not the Director-General of the institution during the period under review, though admitted that government is a continual.
Daily Trust reported that on payment of N36 million as dressing allowance, the Director-General said, “I can’t imagine the Law School paying N36 million into one account on behalf of others.”
His defense was, however, not strong enough for the Senate panel to vacate the query. The Auditor-General’s report further revealed from the examination of payment voucher that the Law School, at various intervals, made use of the pension funds to offset expenses not related to payment of pension, contrary to extant Financial Regulation.
The Director-General of the Law School was asked to recover the sum involved and return the same into the pension account.