BY EKEle peter agbo,
All is not well at the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), is set to look into the books of the council, following several petitions written to the EFCC to investigate the several allegations of financial sleaze going on in the council.
A source at the EFCC who spoke to LEADERSHIP on the condition of anonymity assured that the anti-graft agency had got all the necessary documents, petitions and evidences required to make it move into AMAC to check the excesses in the council .
Although, LEADERSHIP could not reach the executive chairman of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Hon. Abdullahi Adamu Candido, as at the time of filing this report.
The petition, it was gathered, was to urge the EFCC to assist the council put in place, solid structures that will ensure effective revenue auditing and monitoring in order to prevent the recurrence of this situation in the future.”
The petition equally lamented the “leakages which were not properly handled and had now led to a floodgate of channels riddled with corruption, manipulation, fraudulent conversion of public revenue to private pockets and several other known and unknown infractions which were backed up with contract agreements that were inherently designed to favour private interests rather than the overriding public good.”
It noted that the entire revenue-related data and records that would otherwise enable the council to carry out an independent revenue audit of the activities of its Technical Partners, responsible for revenue-related operations, have never been available to the council since the inception of the present administration.
AMAC ordinarily is potentially one of the most economically viable local governments in Nigeria, but regrettably, the menace and illegal activities of the council’s technical partners, especially, consultants engaged to collect operating permits, sign posts, mobile adverts, etc have continued to hinder the success of the Candido administration.
It maintained that the sophistication of the methods used to perpetrate the alleged frauds, including illegal clearing of checks and bank drafts meant for AMAC, diversion of AMAC collections into private accounts, under invoicing, coupled with collusion with officials of major clients, issuance of fake receipts, collection of cash payments in violation of extant regulations, refusal to provide the council with detailed revenue records, data and other relevant information cum property belonging to the Council, document forgery, etc are some of the examples of the serious issues involved and which border on economic and financial crimes.”