The Senate Committee on Public Account has queried the officials of Lake Chad Research Institute, Maiduguri, for the sale of two Prado Jeeps valued at N31M million for a paltry N1.5 million without due process.
The Prado Jeeps were procured in 2013 and 2014 respectively but were sold three years after the procurement.
The Committee chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide was enraged to discover from the Executive Director, Dr. Alhassan Bibinu he has no Official vehicle having informed the Panel that he is currently using refurbish Hilux Vehicle as official car.
The Committee issued the query based on the 2017 Report of Auditor General of the Federation submitted to National Assembly for consideration.
The query reads, “Management of the Institute could not account for 2 Nos. Toyota Prado Jeeps which were purchased in 2013 & 2014 with registration No. 45KOIFG for one Jeep and none for the other.
“No reason was given for not registering the second Prado Jeep. In addition, a Toyota Hiace bus with registration No. 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.”
“Inability of the Management of the Institute to account for Government property under their custody suggests abuse and mismanagement, as Government property may have been diverted to private use.
“The Executive Director is required to account for the vehicles. The issue was communicated to the Executive Director through my Audit Inspection Report Ref. No. EIAD/WTR 16/CORP/4 dated 21st December 2017 but he failed to respond.”
The Institute in it’s response said,” The vehicle (Prado Jeep) was purchased on 21st March, 2014 at the Cost of N18.7 million 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”
On the Second Prado Jeep which was purchase at cost of N12.4 million, the Institute said, “The Prado Jeep was purchased 18th September, 2013 at the cost of N12.4 million and request for approval to board the vehicle and was written to ARCN dated on June 7th , 2017.”