By Abiemwense Moru
The House of Representatives Committee on Public Procurement on Thursday, summoned the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, over alleged payment of N17 billion for procurement of office equipment.
It also summoned the Auditor-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris, and former Accountant-General of the Federation Mr Jonah Otunla, over the transaction.
The three top government officials are to appear before the committee members on Tuesday.
Their invitation was sequel to their failure to appear at the public hearing on the allegation organised by the committee on Thursday.
The minister sent the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Isa Dutse, to represent her, but the lawmakers flayed it and refused to accept any excuse for her absence at the investigative hearing.
Before issuing the summons, Chairman of the committee, Rep. Oluwole Oke, said that the three officials had violated the provisions of section 15 of the Public Procurement Act 2007 as it pertained to the role of procurement entities.
He told the permanent secretary that the minister must provide documents that included the president’s approval for the contract, agreement signed by the contractors and record of payment of the contract by the ministry.
He said that the summons became necessary because there was a document from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation showing that they had paid N17 billion on the contract.
Oke added that public procurement regulation was the only way to curb corruption in the country.