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Senate demands Federal High Court personnel cashbook over unexplained N456m

The Senate has demanded a personnel cash book of the Federal High Court over an unexplained difference of N456 million in the staff salaries.

The request followed the query issued by the Auditor General of the Federation on personnel cashbook balance from January to December 2015.

The document was submitted to the Senate Committee on Public Account chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide.

The query reads, ” Personnel Account cashbook from January to December 2015 was N2.4 billion while the transcript closing balance was N2.9 billion giving unexplained N456 million in the personnel Account cashbook.

“The Chief Registrar has been requested to reconcile the difference and forward the reconciliation for audit verification.”

But, the Federal High Court in a written response said, “In the personnel cashbook, judges’ and staff salaries are usually prepared separately, these figures are summed up under corresponding line -items in the transcript.

“The total sum of closing balance as extracted from personnel cashbook of 2015 is N3bn. The sum picked from February to July was the closing balances only while omitting the judges’ closing balances. This omission amount to the differences observed by the Auditors.”

Not satisfied with the presentation, Urhogide asked the FHC to submit its personnel cashbook for the committee to look at it.

All efforts by the officials of Federal High Court, led by the Chief Accountant of the Federal High Court, Kazeem Awoyemi.
to defend the unexplained N456 million was not acceptable to the lawmakers during the public hearing.

The Committee also queried the Federal High Court for payment of N18 million meant for 38 officers into a single account.

It stated that there was no evidence that 37 other officers were actually paid by the Federal High Court.

The Official of the High Court admitted that it could be an error, adding that all concerned officers were paid.

But, Senator Biodun Olujinmi (Ekiti South) kicked against the defence, saying no judge will tolerate this mistake.

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