BY EMEKA NWADIOKE
* SAYS: ‘WE HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE’
The Nigerian Law School has described as misleading, the report that it approved the payment of N32 million to an unnamed cleaner over a period of 12 months. The school also denied giving out an alleged N36 million as a dressing allowance to an individual against Nigeria’s extant laws.
Secretary of the Council and Director of Administration, E. Max-Uba, said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday that the Director-General of the Nigerian Law School, Isa Hayatu-Chiroma, (SAN), was wrongly quoted when he appeared at a public hearing.
The public hearing was conducted by the Senate Committee on Public Accounts (SPAC), in connection with the annual report of the Auditor-General of the Federation on the Accounts of various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the year ended December 31, 2015.
The institution admitted that queries were raised from the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation with regard to the payment of N36 million as dressing allowance and N32 million as payment to an unnamed cleaner over a 12-month period. It also said explanations were given on how the funds were spent without violation of extant laws.
It said: “The payments of N401,000 (Four Hundred and One Thousand Naira), N413,600 (Four Hundred and Thirteen Thousand Naira ) respectively were travelling expenses of the Nigerian Law School Pension Board of Trustee (BOT) members to visit the Chairman of the pensioners association who was terminally ill. N500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) was the benefit for the next of kin of the deceased Chairman of the pensioners association.The institution said traditionally there is a dress code for its staff and students as part of its work ethics.”
On the allegation that sum of N34,330,500 (Thirty Four Million, Three Hundred and Thirty Thousand Five Hundred Hundred Naira) was at several times paid to members of staff as provision and cleaning allowance, the school sadi: “The payments were not personnel cost and so did not require the approval of NSIWC. These were overhead cost items for telephone bills, toiletries, cleaning and related items. The payments were on mandates into individual bank
accounts of staff and not to a single person. The documents evidencing these payments are still available.”
“ln furtherance of this tradition, the council approved a scheme and condition of service on March 10, 2009, that provides in part, the payment of 10 per cent dressing allowance to its staff. The payments were made into the individual bank accounts of staff and not a single person as erroneously reported.”
She assured Nigerians that there was no fraud in the Nigerian Law School and also that the school would appear before the Senate this week to make further explanations on other queries.
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