20 directors fight to replace fired AGF

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The Federal Government has issued a circular for the appointment of a new and substantive Accountant-General of the Federation, The Punch reports.

In a circular dated June 21, 2022, emanating from the Office of Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Federal Government said, “Following the approval of Mr President, the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation is commencing the process of the appointment of a substantive Accountant General of the Federation from eligible directors, (accountants) in the pool of Accountant General of the Federation.”

The position, according to the circular obtained by The PUNCH, is for those who have attained the position of substantive director on Level 17 salary grade level on or before 1st January 2020.

Sources at the Ministry of Finance said permanent secretaries had submitted several lists of eligible directors, (accountants) for consideration for the post.

It was further learnt that eligible directors in the pool of the AGF were jostling to make the list.

An unconfirmed source privy to the development said no fewer than 20 directors have also submitted applications for the top job.

However, the spokesman for the Accountant-General of the Federation, Henshaw Ogubuike, neither answered his calls nor replied to a message sent to him.

Meanwhile, the circular, titled, “Commencement of the process of appointment of a substantive Accountant General of the Federation, further read in part, “All accountants in the mainstream Federal Civil Service in the pool of Accountant General of the Federation who have attained the position of substantive director (Salary Grade 17) on or before 1st January 2020 and are not retiring from the service earlier than 31st December 2024 are eligible to participate in the exercise.

“Officers undergoing disciplinary proceedings are however excluded from the exercise. Permanent Secretaries are therefore requested to forward the following to facilitate the process: list of eligible directors on SGL. 17; confidential and personal files of all eligible directors; five copies of curriculum vitae of each of the eligible directors; brief on each of the eligible directors in the attached format to be produced in Microsoft Word and in both hard ( five copies) and soft copies. Soft copies are to be sent via email to [email protected] and also in a flash drive.”

It added, “The documents in paragraph 4 above must reach the office of the Permanent Secretary, Career Management Office, Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Block A, 4th Floor, Federal Secretariat Complex, Phase II on or before 4:00pm on Wednesday July 6, 2022. Please bring the contents of this circular to the attention of all concerned officers.”

Removed AGF to face disciplinary action

The suspended Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, will face a disciplinary panel after his court trial, the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, has said.

In a telephone interview with The PUNCH, ANAN President, Professor Ben Osisioma, said the association was ready to take disciplinary actions against Idris, who is a member, noting that there would not be any protection for him if he was found guilty of allegations levelled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

Idris was suspended by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, on May 18, 2022 for allegations bordering on N80bn fraud. He is being prosecuted by the EFCC.

Osisioma said, “It is still a matter for the court. We have our investigative panel and a tribunal. Once a matter is in court, everybody stays away. But after then, we will work on it.  We will do what needs to be done no matter whose ox is gored. EFCC is investigating it. After the EFCC, we will take action.

“We will have an investigative panel and find out what he did and how he did it. If it requires suspending or withdrawing his membership as an accountant, we will do it.”

Why Anamekwe was removed

Reports in the public domain have associated the removal of Mr Chukwunyere Anaekwe , who replaced Idris, with alleged corruption.

A source in the Ministry of Finance alleged that Anamekwe was linked to the N80bn alleged fraud, and the Minister of Finance did not want the EFCC investigations compromised. The source urged the EFCC to expand its investigative net as many people in and outside the ministry were involved in the N80bn fraud.

But a contractor who has worked in the Ministry of Finance said there was an attempt to cover up the N80bn fraud, saying that some “vested interests” believed Amamekwe would expose them.

“It is about vested interests. Some people believe that Anamekwe will expose them and decided to level an allegation against him so that he will leave the stage. It is something we have seen happen in several government MDAs, so it is not new. I am not saying that he is clean, but based on what I have heard, some people do not want him.”

The spokesman for the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ogubuike, neither answered his calls nor replied to a message sent to him to confirm whether the real reason for the removal.