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EXCLUSIVE: Nigeria’s Auditor General Enmeshed in Fraud, Misconducts, Abuse of Powers


(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Crisis is currently rocking the office of the Auditor General for the Federation over allegations of fraud, misconducts and abuse of powers.

The incumbent Auditor General, Mr. Adolphus Aghughu is accused of malicious redeployment of staff, particularly union officers, who dare challenge his alleged highhanded leadership style out of the Abuja headquarters to other states of federation.

One of the many incidents is the illegal and controversial transfer of Mr Tugbogbo Abiodun from Abuja headquarter to Jigawa state.

As a result, the Association of the Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has drawn a battleline. 

The union in a petition titled “Request for the Reversal of the Deployment of Comrade Tugbogbo Abiodun” addressed to the office of the Auditor General of the Federation is demanding immediate reversal of the illegal deployment.

The petition dated 26th July, 2022 and signed for the secretary General of the association by one Isaac Ojemheneke and sighted by this correspondent was  received the same day by the office of Auditor General for the federation.

The Petition stated  that the deployment of Comrade Abiodun by the Auditor General Mr Adolphus Aghughu contravened the International Labour Organization (ILO) convention 87 and 98 which frown at undue deployment of a sitting Trade Union Executive.

It says Mr Aghughu’s action is capable of arm twisting the trade union and can disrupt the industrial peace and harmony in the workplace, asking the Auditor General to immediately reverse the posting in the interest of peace.

Our correspondent also gathered that the Auditor General is also accused of redeploying a member of staff who spoke against his leadership from the abuja headquarters to Ibadan in Oyo state.

Apart from the alleged abuse of power, sources also stated that the Auditor General who has about three weeks to retire from the service ( September 7, 2022), is planning to install a stooge to cover up an alleged maladministration.



Our source said in order of seniority, five candidates are eligible to succeed the incumbent; and they include Mr Julius M. Isiuku, Mrs. Oluseyi A. Ogundowo, Mrs. Eucharia N. Ugwu, Mr. Andrew O. Onwuidili and Mr. Gabriel Gbayan – in that order of seniority.

Our findings show that the retiring AG Adolphus Aghughu is rooting for the 4th candidate in the roll Mr Andrew O. Onwuidili to succeed him, not minding the three senior directors above him. The action it was learnt has turned the office into an unnecessary power tussle. 

“To execute the plot, the outgoing Auditor General has illegally doctored the nominal roll of the office so as to bring his preferred candidate ahead of other directors who joined the civil service way before him against the extant civil service rule,” a source who spoke under the condition of anonymity told our correspondent.

African Examiner reports that the Public service rules PSR 020106 determines seniority in civil service. It states that “seniority in any department shall be determined by the entry/the assumption of duty certified by an authorized officer as reflected in the appropriate register.”

According to the provision of the rule, Mr Julius M. Isiuku should be stepping in as the substantive Auditor General after the retirement of the incumbent in 3 weeks but Isiuku is left with about 3 months to retire from the service, his retirement date being December 2022.

“However, the civil service rule requires that in order to act, the officer must have at least 6 months left in the service, so the next director in the line of succession is one Mrs Oluseyi A. Ogundowo and not Mr Andrew O. Onwuidili that the current Auditor General is rooting to install.

“Don’t you think that this action of the incumbent Auditor General amounts to abuse of powers and fraudulent intent to install his candidate over others who are his seniors”, the source asked rhetorically.

Effort to speak to Mr Aghughu proved abortive as he was not picking his calls. 

 


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