THE Auditor-General of the Federation’s Report 2020 has accused the Supreme Court under former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Tanko Muhammad.
The court was accused of selling various landed properties without authorisation.
The report also indicted the apex court for not presenting payment vouchers to the tune of the sum of N10,223,565,485.70 (Ten billion, two hundred and twenty-three million, five hundred and sixty-five thousand, four hundred and eighty-five naira, seventy kobos).
According to the report, which covers 2020 but was released in December 2023 and made available to the public in 2024, selling the properties violates paragraph 2614 of the Financial Regulations (FR), 2009.
The report said the apex also violated paragraph 2620(i) of the FR 2009, which stated that.
“The Officer in charge of the public auction, or public tender shall pay the net proceeds of the auction after the deduction of the auctioneer’s commission, to the nearest Sub-Treasury or Central Pay Office for classification to the appropriate Sub-Head of the Miscellaneous Revenue Head. He shall inform the Accounting Officer concerned of the details of the proceeds of sale and quote the reference and date of the relevant Treasury Receipt.
“The Accounting Officer shall inform the Accountant-General and the Auditor-General of the reference number, date and amount of the Treasury Receipt for the proceeds of the sales of articles disposed of.”
The audit report stated that they have yet to receive a response from the management of the apex court on the issues raised.
The report recommends that the Chief Registrar of the court should do the following in case of the landed properties:
1. Provide justification to the Public Accounts Committees of the National Assembly on the unauthorised disposal of properties.
2. Recover the disposed properties at No. 72 Alexander Avenue; No. 2, Club Road; No. 20, Cameron Road; and No. 15, Ikoyi Crescent.
3. Forward evidence of recovery to the Public Accounts Committees of the National Assembly.
It stated that otherwise, sanctions relating to the premature scrapping of government properties and gross misconduct prescribed in Paragraphs 3114 and 3129 of the Financial Regulations (FR) 2009, respectively, should apply.
Non – Presentation of payment vouchers to the tune of the sum of N10.2 billion
In the case of non – presentation of payment vouchers to the tune of the sum of N10.2 billion, the report said the fund represented money paid through one hundred and twenty-four (124) vouchers to various beneficiaries, but the paid vouchers and other supporting documents were not presented for audit contrary to extant regulations.
The report attributed the anomalies to weaknesses in the internal control system at the Supreme Court.
Inflation of contract price
On another issue, the report asked the apex court to justify the Public Accounts Committees of the National Assembly, the sum of 11,433,600.00 (Eleven million, four and thirty-three million, six hundred naira) being inflation of contract price, recover and remit the sum of #11,4 million to the Treasury and forward evidence of remittance to the Public Accounts Committees of the National
Otherwise, sanctions relating to inflation of contract and gross misconduct prescribed in Paragraphs 3102 and 3129 of the Financial Regulations (FR) 2009, respectively, should apply.
Muhammad assumed office as CJN in an acting capacity on January 25, 2019, and then substantively, on July 24, 2019.
He succeded Walter Onnoghen. He resigned in June 2022 as a result of ill health.
The ICIR reports that the report also indicted the University of Ilorin of over N1bn corruption.
The ICIR published several reports from the damning documents released by the Auditor-General over the years, emphasising the need to ensure transparency and accountability in government.