Mohammed Umar Bello, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, has been queried for allegedly incurring a contractual liability of over N48 billion.
Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Folasade, Yemi-Esan, signed and issued the query on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Bello is in trouble for alleged infractions when he was the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The query decried that even with the budgetary release of over N98 billion to the ministry in 2018, Bello failed to pay the eligible contractors.
His action allegedly caused the federal government a contractual liability of over N48 billion.
Bello was also alleged to have bought a N7 billion property for the ministry without the approval of the Federal Capital Development Authority(FCDA).
The official was further accused of giving out seven deep drilling rigs for borehole procured at N1.3billion to some individuals under “fraudulent arrangements.”
The query with ref. No. HCSF/PSO/AOD/P.030/5B was titled: “Allegations of acts of serious misconduct in your former post of Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.”
The HOS, relying on the civil service rules, PSR 030401 and 030402, described the allegations against Umar Bello as acts of serious misconduct.
The query read in part: “The attention of Mr. President has been drawn to the acts of serious misconduct against you in your former post as the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on which he has given further directive.
“In spite of the budgetary release of the N98,405,763,678 in 2018 (which represents 99.44 of 2018 appropriation), you did not take necessary action to pay the eligible contractors which led to the ministry having an outstanding contractual liability in the sum of N48,429,543,895. Under your leadership as the accounting officer, the ministry utilised the entire 2019 first quarter release of N7,737,208,135 to pay for the 2018 contracts that were fully funded in 2018 which constitutes virement without authority.
“As accounting officer, you oversaw a transaction for the purchase of a building for the use of the ministry at the sum of N7,044,746,264 without the conduct of the mandatory statutory structural and mechanical integrity tests: and prior approval of the FCDA Public Building Department: the building was eventually found to be an uncompleted carcass requiring billions of Naira to complete and make safe for occupation;
“Under your watch as the accounting officer, the ministry procured seven deep drilling rigs for borehole at an average cost of N300,000,000 without recourse to the Federal Executive Council. In April, 2019, you gave out the seven rigs procured at over NI .3 billion to some individuals under fraudulent arrangements, without the approval of the minister; and one of the rigs linked to you is yet to be returned despite several written reminders.
“You misapplied the intervention funds approved for the purchase of strategic grains and the establishment of the Rural Grazing Area Settlements in violation of extent Financial Regulations; two of such misapplications are: The use of N2.026,838,775 to pay contractors and execute programmes from the funds released for emergency procurement of strategic grains which is unrelated to the purpose of the funds”.