The Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has revealed that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, would begin the compiling of a list of Legislators who have diverted funds meant for their constituencies, in the 2014 – 2015 Budgets.
This is coming against the backdrop of the non-execution of constituency projects, earmarked for them in the 2014 and 2015 budgets.
Findings revealed that the sum of N100 billion was earmarked for constituency projects in the 2014 and 2015 budgets. The worth of constituency projects totaled N200 billion, for the two years.
Malami, who made this revelation, said that the compilation was being done by the police, EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, ICPC.
Though, he declined to give details, “in order not to preempt investigation,” the AGF said the funds, the names of Legislators and the constituency projects that were not executed, would be made public after the investigation.
“The money for constituency projects had been taken, but certain allegations prevailed that some constituency projects were not executed after the money had been paid 100 percent.
“If money is appropriated in the budget, paid and the projects the funds were meant for were not executed, it is only natural to take steps to find out what happened. If neither the money, nor the project can be produced, then you must take steps in accordance with the law.
“There are cases that are specific; we are compiling them. I will not want to pre-empt investigation, we have to allow investigation to be concluded before we go public.”
Reacting, a representative from Oyo-South Senatorial District at the Senate, Senator Adesoji Akanbi, said any probe into the constituency projects should start from the executive.
“There is a certain amount set aside for constituency projects. Each Lawmaker is allocated a certain amount of money, and they will identify the projects of their choice. But the execution by contractors has nothing to do with lawmakers. The main role we play is to name the project and make sure that the project is executed.”
Senator George Sekibo, who is re-contesting his election in the Rivers-East Senatorial District, also said the projects included in any budget passed by the National Assembly were executed by the Executive.
The Legislator, who has been in the Senate since 2007, stated that Lawmakers were not involved in the execution of constituency projects.
He said, ‘‘nobody gives a kobo to any Senator for constituency projects. All a Senator does is to recommend a project for his constituency.”
The Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas, also reacting, said: “Members do not execute constituency projects, and they do not receive money for the projects.
“For example, a health centre will naturally be done by the Ministry of Health or any agency so designated by the Executive to handle the project. It is not the member who implements the project, or appoints the contractors.”