The last on corrupt practices and funds diversion has not been heard of the Delta State House of Assembly under the Speakership, of Mr. Sheriff Oborevwori.
Fresh fact before The Union Nigeria, reveals that funds amounting to N392, 473, 867 cannot be accounted for by the Speaker, Mr. Sheriff Oborevwori and his Clerk, Mrs. Lyna Ochulor.
The funds were declared missing in Queried Capital Vouchers contained in Annexure IV of the 2019 Audit Report of the Delta State Government, signed by the Auditor General of the State, Mr. Paul Aghanenu.
According to the Audit report, obtained by The Union Nigeria, the query fell on four projects with nature ranging from lack of audit certificate to lack of receipt for project executed.
As contained in Annexure IV of the report, the House spent N48,950,000 on the purchase of gift items on the 4th of October, 2019 through a Zenith Bank issued check with number 36452. The project number is DTHA/1231/2019.
In the same vein, on the 16th of July, 2019, a Zenith bank Cheque, with serial number 43084, was issued for N303,095,270 for “purchase of official vehicle for Hon. member”. The project number is DTHA/69/19.
The Speaker and clerk also spent 37,591,597 on furnishing of Press Centre on the 28 of November 2019. A Zenith Bank Cheque with number 36467, was issued for the project which has the number DTHA/1256/2019.
Recall that the Speaker and the Clerk of Delta State House of Assembly, Mr. Sheriff Oborevwori, and Mrs Lyna Ochulor, were in February, 2021 summoned and interrogated by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abuja.
The invitation followed a petition bothering on alleged fraud, abuse of office, exorbitant prices on the purchase of vehicles and wanton looting of the legislative treasury.
Clerk Reacts to details
The Union Nigeria has the clerk on record, while reacting to the details of the audit report.
According to her, the house during its plenary had harmonized the funds. When asked of the plenary date were the house did the harmonization, she said she would get back on that one.
She said the House committee on Public Accounts cleared the report.
But on further investigation, it was gathered that the House Committee on Public Accounts only referred the accounts to the office of the Auditor General.
What could not be ascertained was if the House of Assembly had the power to clear such financial infractions as well as how it was done.
It was a Mistake From Auditor General Office – Speaker
The Speaker, Mr. Sheriff Oborevwori, who spoke to our reporter said, “I saw what you sent to me. I think there is no issue. The house issued a certificate covering all.
“What is there is the third tranche of the purchase of vehicles, purchase of gift for staff, not even members. Those things don’t have any issue at all.
“They have been cleared on the 3rd of August on the floor of the house. It was a mistake from the office of the Auditor General.” The Speaker said.
My Report Is Certified – Auditor General
The Delta State Accountant General, Mr. Paul Aghanenu when reached confirmed the authenticity of the report.
He said he has presented his report to the house of Assembly.
According to him, the report is both in print and soft copies which have been uploaded on the state’s website.
Aghanenu said he needed clearance from the office of the Secretary to State Government to speak further.