The House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts (PAC) has taken a decisive step by resolving to interface with the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, regarding the lingering controversy surrounding the seniority of top officials on the Director Cadre vying for the vacant position of the Auditor General of the Federation.
Chairing the Committee, Hon. Busayo Oluwole Oke (PDP-Osun), made the announcement following a submission made by Mr Okonkwo Udoh, representing the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Folasade Esan, on the matter at hand.
Previously, the Committee had summoned the Head of Service to shed light on the issue of seniority among the Directors, as well as the conflicting official memos issued by the Federal Civil Service Commission within a mere 24-hour period, causing further disruption to the selection process.
In response to the development, Hon. Okie stated that the selection process would be put on hold temporarily to facilitate consultations on the contentious issues, including an interface with the Attorney General of the Federation to seek legal interpretation.
Highlighting the gravity of the situation, Hon. Okie remarked, “There’s no provision for the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to be run by a Director. It is illegal. The Director currently occupying that office cannot fulfil the constitutional roles of the Auditor General of the Federation.”
He continued, “We have a backlog of audited accounts of the Federation for the years 2020, 2021, and 2022, which are yet to be laid before the National Assembly due to the absence of a substantive Auditor General of the Federation to sign them.”
The Committee intends to thoroughly review the submissions presented and seek guidance from the Attorney General of the Federation before reaching a final decision that satisfies all parties involved.
Expressing their concerns, the aggrieved Directors urged the Committee to thoroughly investigate the issue based on the existing civil service rules and regulations, specifically citing rules 01, 02, and 03, while also alleging manipulation of the selection processes from undisclosed sources.