Senate has ordered the Director General Securities and Exchange Commission and other Commissioner in the Commission to refund the sum of N594 million into the federation account. The Senate said this as it has uncovered the ploy used by the Director General and Commissioners in the alleged N594 million vehicle allowances scam levelled against them. The Senate took the decision sequel to the consideration and approval of the Senator Matthew Urhoghide, led Committee on Public Accounts and SEC officials were indicted following their refusal to appear and defend the allegations before the Committee as raised in the 2018 Auditor General’s report. The Commission failed to appear after series of letters of invitations sent to defend the allegations before the Senate Public Accounts Committee.
In 2018, the Director General of SEC was Mounir Gwarzo until he was removed and Mary Uduk in March 2018 became the acting Director- General of the Commission. Although, the Commission made a written submission, but failed to appear. As a result of failure to defend the allegations before the Public Accounts Committee, the Senate has to sustain the position of Auditor General of the Federation on the allegations and forwarded the report to the Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation. The audit query read, “In 2013, the Director -General , while serving as Executive Commissioner, was paid the sum of N39 million as monetised car allowances to run for four years, but two years , on his appointment as Director General, he was again paid the sum of N84 million as monetised car allowances. In 2015, the Commission procured four project vehicles to meet it’s need at the sum of N144 million, but instead of making use of the vehicles for purposes they were acquired, the Director General and Commissioners turned them to their sole uses , which contravened chapter 9 (1)&(11) of the Commission’s condition of service .
“Also, the sum of N469 million was further expended on the payment of the monetised motor vehicle insurance in 2015 and 2016. In view of the foregoing, payment of N39 million in 2013 and N84 million in 2015 , totalling N124 million to the Director-General were not proper and cannot be considered as proper charges against Public funds.” The Senate therefore recommended the position of the Auditor General for the Director -General to refund N124 million paid to him and recover the sum of N469 million expended on the payment of monetised motor vehicle allowances and motor insurance allowances from the beneficiaries and pay to the Consolidated Revenue Fund as well as forward the payment details to the Office of Auditor General. The report of the Public Accounts Committee was upheld by the Senate which indicted the Commission.