By Omeiza Ajayi – Abuja
A Civil Society Organization CSO under the aegis of Civil Society for Human Rights and Rehabilitation has petitioned the legislative arm of Abuja Municipal Area Council to investigate alleged infractions committed by the chairman of the council, Hon. Abdullahi Adamu Candido.
While the group accused the council Chairman of disregarding the Appropriation Act, Procurement Act, and other extant laws, they described the Candido administration as opaque.
In the petition addressed to the Speaker of the Council and dated January 22, 2020, FCT Coordinator of the group, Comrade Joseph Jonah, said the infractions were targeted at creating an opaque financial regime that is unaccountable and unregulated.
The petition reads in part; “Contrary to clear provisions of the Appropriation Act, Hon. Abdullahi Adamu Candido, the council chairman has consistently and continuously failed, refused and neglected to furnish the National Assembly with quarterly status reports of the council’s statutory accounts. This refusal is bad and renders the chairman liable to be investigated and possibly impeached for two (2) reasons.
“First, it shrouds the finances of the council in secrecy thereby creating room for fraud, misappropriation, and misuse of public funds. Secondly, the failure of a public official to obey and abide by very clear statutory provisions is in itself an impeachable offense.
“Our request in this circumstance is that you investigate this clear breach of the law with a view to protecting our institutions from unwarranted abuse”.
Other weighty allegations leveled against the chairman include a grant of revenue generation appointments under shady circumstances and release of council funds or virements without legislative approvals:
“That the chairman is in the habit of granting revenue-generating opportunities under circumstances that negate the principles and practices of procurement (Procurement Act), disregards the role of the Legislature in the administration of the council, shrouded in secrecy, cronyism and indeterminate standards.
“Our reviews of some of the awarded documents suggest that contracts were granted to family members, were not advertised, were not open to public scrutiny, no invitation of civil societies and journalists as observers and competition and bidding were granted under strangely enormous financial compensation
“For example, the grant of 35% of three (3) billion naira and the grant of 80% of the recovered amount to the Recovery Agents while the council itself who is the real owner of the fund will only be entitled to a mere 20% is unacceptable to us,” the petitioners stated.
While receiving the petitions from the group, the Speaker of AMAC legislative arm, Mr. Abubakar Boshe assured the group that the lawmakers will investigate the matter in questions and report back to the public.
Also reacting to the allegations, the Head of information unit in AMAC, Mrs. Patience Olaloye while describing the petitions as baseless noted that all the dealings of the council are in the council domain.