Business

How, why FG removed, redeployed Acting AGF 28 days after appointment

By EDU ABADE, Business Editor

· Revelation that govt was borrowing to pay salaries earned Nwabuoku sack

Reason for the Federal Government sack of Acting Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Anamekwe Nwabuoku, and immediately inviting eligible candidates to apply for the position of the substantive one has emerged.

Findings by The Trumpet indicate that Nwabuoku, who was appointed through a letter dated May 20, 2022 and signed by the Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Aliyu Ahmed, was removed 28 days after his appointment.

Consequently, the Federal Government redeployed him to the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC) as Director of Finance without giving any official reasons.

It was also learnt that the processes to fill the vacant seat of a substantive AGF commenced through a circular with referenced number: HCSF/PS/CMO/193/03 and titled: Commencement of the process of appointment of a substantive Accountant-General of the Federation” by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan, who requested eligible applicants to submit their applications on or before July 6, 2022.

The call for qualified applicants to fill the position became necessary after the immediate past AGF, Idris Ahmed, was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over an alleged N80 billion fraud.
Idris was subsequently suspended by the Minister for Finance Zainab Ahmed and appointed Nwabuoku in acting capacity.

In the circular dated June 21, 2022, Yemi-Esan noted that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the process, adding that the role was open to all directors and accountants in the service, who are not due for retirement before the end of 2024.

“Following the President’s approval, the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation is commencing the process of appointing a substantive Accountant-General of the Federation from eligible directors and accountants in the pool of accountant general of the federation.

“Consequently, all accountants in the mainstream federal civil service in the pool of accountant general of the federation, who have attained the position of substantive directors from grade level 17 on or before January 1, 2020 and are not retiring from the service earlier than December 31 2024, are eligible to participate in the exercise. Officers undergoing disciplinary proceedings are, however, excluded from the exercise,” the circular added.

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It further directed permanent secretaries to forward the list of eligible directors on SGL17, confidential and personal files of all eligible directors, five copies of curriculum vitae of each of the eligible directors and a brief on each of them in the attached format to be produced in Microsoft Word and in five hard copies) and soft copies.

“The documents must reach the office of the Permanent Secretary, Career Management Office (CMO), of the head of Service of the Federation at the federal secretariat complex on or before 4:00p.m. on Wednesday, July 6, 2022,” the circular further stated.

A top management staff at the ministry of Finance, who confirmed the removal through redeployment of the Acting Accountant-General disclosed that he (Nwabuoku) was redeployed on June 21, 2022, the same day his position was declared vacant, adding that the redeployment was a demotion for an officer in acting capacity as AGF.

The source maintained that he was said to have been given a letter of redeployment to Federal Civil Service Commission as Director of Finance without any official reasons, saying: “The Federal Government action may have been informed by Nwabuoku’s recent comment at a function in Abuja that the government has been borrowing to pay salaries.”

Another source who also confirmed the removal, added that it was not unconnected with his purported case with the EFCC, just as a former aide to President Buhari, Bashir Ahmad, confirmed Nwabuoku’s appointment via his Twitter handle on May 23, 2022.

“Anamekwe Chukwunyere Nwabuoku has been appointed to oversee the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, pending the outcome of EFCC’s investigation of the suspended AGF, Ahmad Idris,” he said.

Nwabuoku was expected to carry out his duties in strict compliance with extant rules and observe a highest sense of professionalism. His appointment had followed the suspension of Idris, who is being investigated for allegedly stealing over N80 billion.

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