Reps uncover alleged secret commercial bank account of FCT-IRS

⦁ As Director disowns account
⦁ Committee demands details

The House of Representatives on Thursday uncovered a commercial bank account being secretly operated by the Federal Capital Territory Inland Revenue Service (FCT-IRS), Abuja.

The Chairman, House Committee on Public Account, Hon. Wole Oke made the revelation when the Chairman and the members of the board of FCT-IRS appeared before the Committee to provide the details of their activities from inception till date.

The worried lawmaker explained that the alleged scam was discussed at the last meeting of the Committee with the Agency during a vigorous and thorough screening of their documents.

Hon Oke disclosed that following this development, the Committee summoned the Managing Director of the bank who made the submission and subsequently availed Committee with a copy of the bank statement the agency maintained with the bank.

According to him: “We all know that  President Muhammudu Buhari ordered that all agencies of government should maintain an account with CBN under Treasury Single Account regime. So,  this Committee is worried that some agencies are still maintaining accounts with commercial banks

“Thereafter, we demanded the mandate of the bank, the instruction given to the bank based on which transaction took place. This was further to the denial of the agency overpayment of salaries and allowances to officials of Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), seconded, deployed to FCT-IRS.”

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However, despite a copy of the bank statement submitted to the Committee by Polaris bank, the Director of Treasury, FCT, Isiaku Ismaila, insisted that the account was not operated by the FCT Treasury.

According to him; “This statement of account is not being operated by the FCT Treasury. We neither directed for this account to be opened nor are we signatories to this account. And therefore any transaction about this account I’m not competent to say anything about it.”

Ismaila also claimed to have contacted his Head of Centre Pay Office, to inquire about the said account.

He explained that following the directive of the president, that as the Director of Treasury, he wrote circular to all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to make sure  they comply, noting that the agency has not transferred any money to the account of FCT-IRS any form into since the directive was given

He said although from the statement of the said account given to him by the Committee that there were some entries in 2016 and thereafter, but maintained that the entries were not from the FCT treasury.

Ismaila acknowledged that in May 2015, the sum of N150 million was remitted into that account, though he said he was not the director then.

The Committee, therefore, directed the secretary to write Keystone Bank to furnish the Committee with the details of the financial transaction of the agency since inception.

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