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The Senate has issued twenty-four hours deadline to the Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola to appear before it and defend the N700 million the ministry received from Service Wide Votes, SWV, for the monitoring of the governorship elections in Ondo and Edo.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Accounts, Sen. Matthew Urhoghide handed the order to the ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr. Shuaib Belgore in response to the ministry’s justification that the N700 million would be reported by the Nigerian Civil Defense Corps (NSDC).
The money was released in two installments, the Committee claims, with N400 million going to the Ondo governorship election and N300 million going to the Edo governorship poll.
This information can be found in the Authority to Incur Expenditure (AIE), a document created by the Accountant General of the Federation that demonstrates that N400 million was released to the Ministry of Interior for logistics and operational support related to the upcoming Ondo state gubernatorial election.
The second statement stated that N300 million had been given to the Ministry of Interior for operational and logistical support leading up to the upcoming governor of Edo State election.
The NSDC will be responsible for keeping track of the funds, according to the Permanent Secretary; we only submit requests on its behalf.
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Urhoghide, expressed dissatisfaction with the Permanent Secretary’s defense, saying that the Ministry, not the NSDC, was responsible for collecting the funds.
Urhoghide, who noted that the NSDC will only come before the Committee to account for the money requested personally from Service Wide Votes, said, ” NSDC has their own queries , they are coming before the Panel to respond to the one that bears their names, they have the money given to them directly.
“From our records, it is your ministry that will defend the expenditures, not NSDC,” he said.
Giving the ministry 24 hours to defend the N700 million for the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, the chairman said, ” You have 24 hours to make your report available to us, we must get an explanation from you.”
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