The federal government has issued a query to Mohammed Bello, permanent secretary of the ministry of science and technology, over alleged financial misconduct.
In a letter dated May 11 and signed by Folasade Yemi-Esan, head of service of the federation, Bello was alleged to have engaged in acts of misconduct while he was the permanent secretary of the federal ministry of agriculture and rural development.
The permanent secretary was accused of not paying eligible contractors despite the budgetary release of N98 billion to the agriculture ministry in 2018.
He was alleged to have used the entire 2019 first-quarter release of N7 billion to pay for the 2018 contracts that were already funded.
“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,” the query read.
“Specifically, it was alleged that in spite of the budgetary release of the N98,405,763,678.68 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 0f N48,429,543,895.72;
“Under your leadership as the Accounting Officer, the Ministry utilised the entire 2019 first-quarter release of N7,737,208,135.18 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,o44,746,264.06 without the conduct of the mandatory statutory structural and mechanical integrity tests; and prior approval 0f 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 N300,000,000.00 without recourse to the Federal Executive Council;
“And in April 2019, you gave out the seven rigs procured at over N1.3 billion Naira 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; and you misplaced the intervention funds approved for the purchase of strategic grains and the establishment of the Rural Grazing Area Settlements in violation of extant Financial Regulations.”
The head of service said the allegations could lead to the dismissal of the permanent secretary if he is proved guilty.