In a report exclusively obtained by our online newspaper, the Auditor General for the Federation has dragged the embattled Dr Marilyn Amobi who has about 10 days to bow out of office before the leadership of the National Assembly for final determination on established gross misconduct, fraudulent activities, disrespect for due process and extant circulars. All the shoddy deals were successfully perpetrated by Dr Amobi under the supervision of the treasury staff from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation posted to NBET- Mr Ibrahim Salihu Otaru and Mrs Hauwa Bello, after the forceful removal of whistle-blowers in 2017.
By Provision of Section 85(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the Auditor General for the Federation does not conduct full audit of the Federal Government Parastatals, Companies, or Agencies, NBET inclusive. However, the Auditor General is empowered to carry out periodic checks on Parastatals and Agencies in line with Section 85(4) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and make comments on their Audited Financial Statement. We wonder where the Accountant General of the Federation derived its power to post treasury staff to head NBET’s Finance and Internal Audit departments if not to assist in committing fraud. The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC- the Regulator) consistent with other parastatals/agencies and Federal Universities have no presence of OAGF staff in their Finance and Internal Audit department based on our findings.
A twist was recently introduced by Dr Amobi when she started biting the fingers that fed her so as to distract the stakeholders who monitor whether the government of President Muhammadu Buhari would allow her to go scot free despite established corruption activities on her neck. She sued the Minister of Power, Ministry of Power alongside the whistle-blower- Mr Sambo Abdullahi whose salary and other emoluments were stopped since December 2017 till date for raising audit queries on her fraudulent activities at the Abuja Court of Appeal in a suit No CA/ABJ/CV/278/2020.
Dr Amobi has expended about N500million taxpayers’ money in the pursuit of one libel case or the other to redeem her image. Just recently, we gathered that GTBank London denied Dr Amobi a bank guarantee due to several reported and established fraudulent activities against her which were being investigated in both the UK and Canada. Time shall tell whether Dr Amobi is above the law in Nigeria!
The report which was signed by Mr A. M. Ayine, FCA, the Auditor General for the Federation noted that because of the public interest generated in NBET’s affairs, “I hereby issued a Special Audit Report having duly considered the entity’s responses to our earlier Management Report”. This has corroborated the position of the reports of the BPP, EFCC and ICPC of which prosecution was not carried out for whatever reason.
The agency under the watch of Dr Marilyn Amobi did not submit annual audited financial statements for six (6) years: 2014 – 2019 in violation of Financial Regulations 3210(v) which requires the Chief Executive Officer of each Government Parastatals, Agency or Company to submit both Annual Audited Accounts and Management Report not later than 31st May of the following year. This online newspaper had earlier reported how Mr Babatunde Fashola approved the appointment of one Aminu Ibrahim & Co (Chartered Accountants) in 2017 to audit the agency’s account of 2015 and 2016. Dr Amobi resisted the accounting firm from carrying out the annual audit despite emerging from transparent procurement process because the firm is from the Northern part of the country and she cannot manipulate the outcome of the report.
Amobi was also indicted for payment for contract worth N21million which was not executed. The contract was awarded for the review of NBET’s Audit Manual. Insider source who crave anonymity for fear of been punished confided in us that the contract was actually for Mrs Hauwa Bello (OAGF staff posted to Head Internal Audit of NBET) after the forceful removal of Mr Sambo (who exposed the fraudulent activities in NBET running into billions) by Dr Amobi. The initial development of the audit manual was carried out by one of the leading accounting firms in Nigeria- KPMG for a fee of N14million, how can a road side accounting firm now review the same document for N21million and yet contract was not executed. The Auditor General has recommended that the MD/CEO should refund the amount if the reviewed audit manual is not presented for their scrutiny. This and many more are what the incoming MD/CEO will have to battle with upon his assumption of office July 25, 2020.
The Auditor General noted in the report a contract variation of N4.8million from the initially approved amount of N136million for the partitioning of office space awarded to Julius Berger which thereby brought the total contract sum to N141million without the approval of the appropriate Tenders Board. Dr Amobi however responded that the variation amount of N4.1million was within her threshold. The MD was however overruled by the Auditor General and she was asked to refund the N4.1million
This online newspaper had reported in the past how Dr Amobi connived with one Prof Larsen of Aarhus University, Denmark who is a partner in ESL Economics and Management Associates Ltd with RC No 751030- a company in which Dr Amobi holds 80% shares and which also arranged a fruitless training for NBET staff and none staff in Denmark for hundreds of millions of naira. Despite the public outcry and the specific directive from President Buhari placing embargo on international travel/training for civil servant, Dr Amobi was reported to have expended another N66million on foreign training. The Auditor General has requested the leaderships of the National Assembly to sanction Dr Amobi in line with Financial Regulation 3129 which says any officer who violates any other provisions for which no sanction is specifically recommended shall be taken to have committed gross misconduct and shall be disciplined accordingly.
The Auditor General’s report also noted that Amobi acquired 12 vehicles for N355million between June 2017 and June 2018 despite the fleet of cars she inherited in 2016 when she assumed office. A member of NBET finance team conversant with Amobi’s atrocities confirmed to this online newspaper that several cars were bought between June 2018 and date which the subsequent Auditor General’s report would reveal. Some of those cars were issued out to none staff of NBET by Dr Amobi in appreciation of covering up her dirty deals while several other vehicles were parked unused as at the time of this report. Whereas one of the cars bought with the taxpayers’ money is one BMW 2019 model being used by her, Dr Amobi maintained that procuring luxury vehicles rather than operational vehicles did not constitute frivolous spending of Government funds. Auditor General has however recommended to the leadership of the National Assembly that Amobi should be sanctioned in line with Financial Regulations 3129 and other extant rules and regulations. We have gathered that Dr Amobi who bows out from the company on the 24th of July 2020 is planning to take along most of the cars as her parting gift.
Attached is the detailed Auditor General for the Federation’s report on NBET.