The Judicial Commission of
Inquiry set up by the Enugu State Government to probe the activities of the 17 Local Government Councils in Enugu State from January 1999 to December 31, 2007, has said that over N11 billion of federal allocations to local government councils in the state within the period was not accounted for during the period under review.
The Chairman of the seven – member commission, Justice Anthony Onovo, made this known while presenting the report of the commission to the state governor, Barrister Sullivan Chime at Government House, Enugu.
The recommendation of the commission, he said, was that the the huge sum of money be recovered from all the people responsible for the loss.
Onovo explained that the commission went through the cash books and payment vouchers provided by the 17 local governments and the 39 development centers as well as scrutinised a total of 50,094 payment vouchers of the local governments from the year 2006 and also inspected and verified projects executed.
He, however, said that the commission was unable to receive any single document relating to allocation of revenue to the local government in the state out of the federation account for any part of the period under review from any officer past or present in the state.
Onovo noted that the total amount received by the local government was over N79 billion made up of over N7 billion direct payment to the council and over N71 billion allocation paid to the councils through the Ministry of Finance.
He said that while the 17 Local Government Areas received the sum of over N7 billion from June 1999 to April 2002 by direct allocation, the sum of over N38 billion was through the Ministry of Finance for the same period.
From investigation, he said the commission found no explanation for the where about of the sum of over N3 billion, and also that allocations to the local governmentwere usually not in full because they were used for the state for purpose other than those authorised and could not find explanation for the sum of N3 billion transferred out of JAAC account into various state government accounts.
The commission also noticed a lot of impurity in the past with tales of missing public documents some of which were allegedly burnt and beyond recovery, as it further recommended the recovery of COT from the Banks in view of a central bank circular on it and recovering of over seven billion naira N7 billion, N3,423,475,356.84, N3,076,429,603.32 from the former Accountant General (AG),who refused to give any explanation for those transfers and non appearance of the funds in JAAC Account.
It also recommended greater effort and accountability in revenue generation in the local government administration in the state,
recovering of over payment of security vote made to council chairmen for a period of between 2006 – 2007, and recovering of the sum of N232, 602,437.70 from treasurers of eleven local governments that failed to post the money paid to the council into their main cash books.
The commission blamed the local government service commission and ministry of local government in the state for failure to discharge their statutory responsibilities on issues of guidelines and
monitoring of the activities of the council and recommended that local governments should on monthly bases prepare bank reconciliation statement and submit to the commission before receiving the next allocation.
Receiving the report, Governor Chime thanked them for a job well done despite odds and challenges they encountered.
His words: “From the survey, it is obvious that you did a detailed insight in the activities of the local government.”
The Governor therefore assured them that the report would be studied in details and take appropriate steps to implementing the recommendations, assuring that the local government would not be the same in the state by the time he leaves office.
Corpse Of Woman Found In Ebonyi Hotel Room
The police in Ebonyi State say they have discovered the body of a yet to be identified middle-aged woman in a hotel room in Abakaliki, the state capital. The spokesperson of the police in the state, Loveth Odah, stated this yesterday.
She said the body has deep cuts on the chest and neck and has been deposited in a mortuary. According to the spokesman, it was discovered at Crown Garden Hotel located along the ever-busy Afikpo road in the capital city.
Mrs Odah, who said that the victim was found in the pool of her own blood, said the suspect had been identified as one Uchenna Awoke.
She said the hotel manager, Emmanuel Eze, the supervisor, and other workers had been taken to the police station for questioning and accused the hotel management of negligence.
“The manager of the hotel, the supervisor and other staff of the hotel were taken to the station for questioning and I must confess to you that the whole thing is negligence on the part of the hotel management. How can a guest be murdered in a hotel room and days after, the management is not aware of the incident.”
“We will investigate the matter properly and I assure you, the perpetrator of the act must be arrested and prosecuted. All we are asking is for the members of the public to avail the police of useful information that will lead to the arrest of the suspect.”
Senate Passes S’East Dev Commission Bill
The Senate yesterday passed the South East Development Commission (Establishment) Bill 2018.
The proposed commission aims at enhancing the infrastructural development of the South East zone, which is grappling with huge ecological challenges.
It also seeks to act as a catalyst for the development of the commercial potential of the zone.
The proposed legislation requires the concurrence of the House of Representatives to become a bill of the National Assembly, and the President’s assent to become a law.
Senators Stella Oduah (PDP-Anambra) and Samuel Anyanwu (PDP-Imo) jointly sponsored the bill read in the Senate on June 22, 2016.
Its passage in the Red Chamber followed the presentation of the report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service by its former Chairman, Senator Emmanuel Paulker (PDP-Bayelsa), on the floor of the Senate.
The bill, after Paulker’s presentation, was considered clause by clause by the committee of the whole, and amendments made by the lawmakers were read for the third time and eventually passed.
In his remarks, presiding Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, commended his colleagues for a job well done.
In his words, “Every morning we pray that God should give us the grace to do only those things that will promote the peace and unity of this country.
“I believe that we have shown today that we are committed to the unity of this country, and it is this unity that will give us faith in this country.
“This faith will in turn help us to pursue peace and progress,” he said.
Briefing newsmen after plenary, members the South East caucus of the Senate, led by Sen. Enhinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia), thanked their colleagues and members of the committee for their efforts.
Abaribe, who spoke on behalf of the caucus, urged the President to sign the bill into law “as soon as we tidy it up and bring to him, in the interest of the unity and progress of Nigeria”.
“This will put to rest the long-drawn agitation in the South East, and the difficulties in the rehabilitation and reconciliation efforts that started at the end of the civil war.
“All things we see always will end up at the negotiating table, which is what we have done,” he said.
The lawmaker said he hoped the House of Representatives would give concurrence to the bill as it went in the Senate.
When established, the South East Development Commission would be the third zonal interventionist body in the country.
2019: Oyedepo Predicts Peace In Nigeria
Bishop David Oyedepo, the Founder and Presideng Bishop, Living Faith Church Worldwide, on Saturday predicted that nothing would disturb the peace of Nigeria and its story would change for the better in the year 2019.
Oyedepo made the declaration at the just concluded annual prophetic gathering of the Winners’ family, christened the “Dominion”, in a satellite telecast of the church.
In the telecast monitored in Abuja, the cleric also declared that 2019 would be a year of “I have Dominion”.
“Nothing will tamper with the peace of Nigeria; the story will change for the better in the name of Jesus.
“Nigeria shall not see bloodshed, the Prince of Peace will continue to dominate in Nigeria, in Africa and Nigeria is declared blessed.
“Anywhere you step, accident is forbidden; death will not come near you and our nation.
“Anything that is of grace in my life, I freely release upon you today.
“God has opened the year 2019 to us, celebrate Him because its our year of “I have Dominion,” he said.
The Bishop added that the year 2019 would be a year of humbling testimonies for Nigeria and pace-setting testimonies.
He further declared that 2019 would be a colourful year for the nation.
According to the cleric, as long as Jesus has the final say on the issues of Nigeria, it will experience greatness.
Oyedepo said that there would be no more cause of alarm in any area of the nation and its citizens.
He advised Christians in Nigeria to delight themselves in the spirit of servant-hood, adding that the spirit of Christ is the spirit of servant-hood.
“The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of servant-hood. As you keep rising on the ladder of leadership, you must retain our spirit of servant-hood, constantly working to add value to others and be kingdom minded,” he said.
According to him, dedication is at the root of dominion, saying: “Sow yourself as a seed by being totally dedicated to God and His Kingdom’’.
He told his congregation that sacrificial giving guarantees the meeting of all their needs.
“When you engage in taking care of the well-being of others, God is also committed to your well-being,” he explained. The cleric admonished Christians would engage in meeting the needs of the needy, every barrier on their path of destiny would be crushed.
“Nobody tampers with your life, your career, your family and goes away with it because you are promoted to God’s kingdom.
“God will stand for your defence in the day of trouble. Every sacrificial giver has a defence around him in the day of trouble always have that in mind,” he said.
He reminded his congregation that the Church is not a building; the Church is a people and the Redeemed of the Lord.
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