Many Sins of Peter Jack

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MORE Facts have emerged on the misdeeds of Peter Jack, former director general of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, who was suspended two weeks ago from office.

Investigations carried out by an audit committee raised by the ministry of Communications revealed that Jack gave approval for the disbursement of N630 million within two months without due process under questionable and suspicious circumstances.

The preliminary findings also indicated that the embattled former chief executive was found wanting in handling the “finances and procurement processes of the agency, including irregularities in staff recruitment.”

The committee “observed that several approvals for payment totalling N301.6 million were made through the agency’s staff private accounts under the guise of cash advance disbursements.” Auditors said the payments, ranging between N1.1 million and N49.7 million, were disbursed to 18 staff between November 12 and December 31, last year.

“These payments to staff private accounts were in excess of N200,000 limit approved by the Federal Government for cash advances. The huge amount paid to staff for execution of services which could have been awarded as contracts were in contrast to Due Process rule,” the report said.

Within the same months of November and December, last year, Jack disbursed N153 million to 26 staff of the agency “as claims for embarking on official trips without evidence of embarking on the journey.”

The former chief executive paid himself over N52 million for spurious official trips to India, United States, Portugal and Canada within two months.

The former director general was also suspected of bribing security agencies and some officials to cover his track. For instance, he paid N4 million as salary advance to two officers of the EFCC seconded to NITDA. Such irregular and unauthorized payments were approval by Jack as office rent to the tune of N68. 5 million, far above his approval limit and without recourse to the supervising ministry as stipulated by service rules.

— Feb 2, 2016 @ 13:55 GMT

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