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N12.3b missing in ISOPADEC account – Audit report

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By Chris Njoku, Owerri

A forensic report of the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Commission (ISOPADEC) has discovered N12.3b missing in the interventionist agency.

The audit report carried out by Corporate Dev& Assets Mgt Ltd (CADAM-ANE) was commissioned by Governor Hope Uzodinma three months ago to review activities of the commission from 2007-May 31, 2020.

Out of the N12.3billion missing, the report also stated there was nothing to show for over N10 billion said to have been used for execution of projects.

The report, which also discovered a top ranking official was a single signatory to the 13% oil derivation joint account at the bank, described it as an aberration and recommended the State should take steps for the immediate recovery of the missing N12.272 billion.

The report also showed the overall expenditure profile of ISOPADEC within the period under review witnessed an unprecedented high in seven months than in any single year in 12 years.

In 2008, the commission spent N3.1billion; N1.7bn in 2009; N1.4 in 2012 and 2013 and N1billion in 2017. 2007 to 2018 were less than a billion naira expenditure.

But between June 2019 and January 2020, less than 8 months, the commission spent N3.3billion.

Read Also: N6b ISOPADEC fund: Okorocha dares Ihedioha to probe him

The report also showed: humongous  sums of money were paid  to contractors without following due process in direct violation of extant laws, huge serial on line transfers were also made to either unknown or  unidentified recipients.

It further shows payments to contractors were made without any guaranteed APG or certificates earned and that there was no project history, tender records or evidence of approvals from the board as well as lack of adherence to existing protocols on award of contract above N1million.

The report gave a breakdown of the unaccounted N12.272 billion as comprising of N9.611billion from statutory allocations; miscellaneous inflows of N2.203billion; N410.721million deductions and N48.1million gifts to staff.

The report observed some of the commission’s projects such as hospitals, schools, roads in oil producing areas of  Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta, which appeared in papers as completed, were found to be abandoned or none existence.

Commissioner for Information and Strategy Declan Emelumba confirmed the Government has received the report.

He vowed it would leave no stone unturned in its efforts to recover the money.

He also said all those behind the unexecuted contracts will be held accountable.

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