Forensic Audit report has revealed that N11.9 billion of public funds were carted away from the treasury of Kwara between 2011 and 2019 without any lawful tie to any project or programme.
The forensic audit report has revealed, amid other mind-boggling revelations, of alleged malfeasance within the period.
This is contained in a statement issued in Ilorin on Thursday by Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, the Chief Press Secretary to the Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
The audit also showed that N2 billion cash withdrawals not tied to any project or official expenditure were made within eight days in February 2019, barely one month to the general election.
Presenting the report to AbdulRazaq on Thursday, Prof. Anthony Iniomoh, said the report is in two volumes covering Internally Generated Revenue; Capital Receipts; Internal and External Loans; Recurrent/Overhead Expenditure; Personnel Cost (Salaries and Wages); Capital Expenditure; Assets Disposed; Kwara State Internal Revenue Service; Infrastructural Fund Kwara (IFK); and Harmony Holdings Limited, among others.
“A few highlights of our findings may be necessary for the record. Our forensic audit revealed a colossal pilfering of N11,981,268,709, which we recommended should be recovered to the public coffers.
“Similarly, we recommended to the state government to prosecute certain officers and companies in addition to claiming exemplary damages on transactions totalling N6,023,358,444, amongst other key findings.
“A firm that was incorporated at the Corporate Affairs Commission on 14th June, 2016, was paid by the state government for a contract it purportedly executed for the state in April of the same year. A preconceived attempt to defraud the state,” Inumoh said at the presentation of the report .
Iniomoh said the report observed cases of firms that were paid huge public funds without any evidence of work done on record.
The report also revealed an instance of a public officer getting paid at two different places for years.
Iniomoh disclosed that there was a cash withdrawal within eight days of N2.06 billion in February 2019 without no documentation made available to validate the purpose for which the money was withdrawn.
He said there were several other cash withdrawals within the state over the period running into billions of naira which the audit team could not validate.
According to him, the audit revealed that loans were obtained by the Kwara government within the period under review.
“The elements of these loans could not be validated. Above all, the bank accounts to which these loans were disbursed to and what the loans were used for could not be established or validated,” said Iniomoh.
The report suggested to the government to prosecute some individuals and firms indicted in the two volume report, while other issues are to be referred to administrative panel of inquiry for some individuals to explain their roles in the many infractions.
Receiving the report, AbdulRazaq said the revelations were truly disturbing but hardly surprising, given the patterns of events in those years.
“We thank you for the robust work. It confirms what we have been saying all along.
“We also know that there were certain deliberate efforts to obstruct your work. That was why it has taken some time because you have made certain complaints about that and we tried to push those that were supposed to open the doors to make the doors easy for you.
“Your report, like others, will help us to steadily put the state in the right direction to deepen transparency and accountability. We will go through the report fully and look into your recommendations.
“It is mind-boggling especially withdrawing cash of over N2 billion a month to the election and all sorts of infractions that took place. Certainly, we shall progress from here and do the needful,” said AbdulRazaq.
The event was attended by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Mamma Saba Jubril; Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Senior Ibrahim Suleiman; Commissioner for Finance, Florence Olasumbo Oyeyemi; Accountant General of the State, AbdulGaniyu Sani; and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Abdulrazaq Folorunsho.
Other members of the audit firm are Tijani Dako and Bamidele Sobiye.