- Unlike before where issues like this are swept under the carpet,it might no longer be business as usual. Officials of the Cross River State Local Government Pension Board are answering questions over an N8m fraud.
- This was contained in a petition sent by the Cross River Auditor-General for Local Government, Mr. Anthony Ayine, to the Cross River State House of Assembly.
- The Auditor-General also sent the same petition dated September 8, 2015 to the state Governor, Sen Ben Ayade, explaining that in the course of auditing, he unravelled a pension fraud of N8, 883, 150.74 allegedly perpetrated by the board.
- He said more fraud could be detected if a further forensic audit was carried out.
- Ayine, who spoke with our correspondent in Calabar on Tuesday, alleged that the pension board manipulated the payment of pension and gratuity to the beneficiary of a dead official who served for 32 years in the Office of the Auditor-General.
“In the course of our investigation, we came across fraudulent payment of gratuity and pension to beneficiary of our late official which in actual sense did not receive such amount. The staff served for 32 years and she died on grade level 10, Step 15.
The gratuity due to this official was supposed to be over N1m but because of manipulation we discovered that the board paid over N7m to the beneficiary of the late official.”
- Reacting to the claims, a former director of Local Government Pension Board, Mr. John Adie, described the allegation levelled against the board as false
He said, “As far as I know and from all available records, I am the only director that ever instituted reforms in the pension board. There is no fraud in the board rather I introduced a lot of reforms in the place. The kind of reforms I introduced was such that all pension files were captured in the data base and we have a website.