The Senate has demanded begun probing the Federal High Court over discrepancies in its staff salaries as it requested the Personnel Cashbook of the court.
This follows query raised by the Auditor General for the Federation which faulted the personnel cashbook balance from January to December 2015
The query read, “Personnel Account Cashbook from January to December, 2015 was N2.4bn while the transcript closing balance was N2.9bn giving an unexplained N456m in the Personnel Account Cashbook.
“The Chief Registrar has been requested to reconcile the difference and forward the reconciliation for audit verification.”
The Chairman, Senate Public Accounts Committee, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, however gave the directive for the Cashbook following the inability of the FHC management to explain a difference of N456m in its staff salaries.
The Federal High Court sent a written response to the Committee, explaining that the cash book contains separate salaries of judges and those of the staff.
The written response read, “In the personnel cashbook, judges’ and staff salaries are usually prepared separately; these figures are summed up under corresponding line-items in the transcript.
“The total sum of closing balance as extracted from personnel cashbook of 2015 is N3bn. The sum picked from February to July was the closing balances only, while omitting the judges’ closing balances. These omissions amount to the differences observed by the auditors.”
The panel chairman, who was not satisfied with the written submission, asked the FHC to submit its personnel cashbook for the committee’s perusal as the Chief Accountant of the Federal High Court, Kazeem Awoyemi fail to defend missing N456m.
The Committee also tackled the Federal High Court for paying N18m meant for 38 officers into a single account adding that the AuGF query that that there were no evidence that the 37 other officers were actually paid by the Federal High Court.
Officials of the FHC admitted that it could be an error because all the affected officers were paid.