The Senate has exposed officials of the Lake Chad Research Institute, Maiduguri, Borno State, who sold two Prado Jeeps bought in 2013 and 2014 at N31 million for N1.5 million three years after.
The Senate Public Accounts Committee uncovered the transaction while studying the 2015 to 2018 Auditor General’s report before both chambers of the National Assembly.
The SUV, according to the AuGF report, were procured in 2013 and 2014 respectively but were sold three years after they were procured.
Committee Chairman Senator Mathew Urhoghide was shocked when the institute’s Executive Director D. Alhassan Bibinu told the committee that he is using a refurbished Hilux as official car.
The AuGF had queried the agency’s management for the inability to provide reasons for the ridiculous sale of the SUVs.
“The management of the Institute could not account for two Toyota Prado jeeps which were purchased in 2013 and 2014 with number plate, 45KOIFG, for one jeep while the other had not been registered.
“No reason was given for not registering the second Prado jeep. In addition, a Toyota Hiace bus with number plate, 45KO3FG, could not be accounted for during audit.
“This is a violation of Financial Regulation 2128 which states that “Every public officer is personally and pecuniary responsible for government property under his control or in his custody.”
According to the institute in the vehicle (Prado jeep) was purchased on 21st March, 2014 at the cost of N18.7m and the former Executive Director, Dr Oluwasina Olabanji, sought the approval of ARCN for boarding the vehicle to the former chairman governing board, Mr Yakubu Tsala, at the cost of N750, 000 only.
The second one cost N12.4m, and was bought on 18th September, 2013 at the cost of N12.4m and request for approval to board the vehicle and was written to ARCN dated on June 7th , 2017.