Enugu - The Enugu State House of Assembly has frozen the accounts of Enugu State Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB) in the banks for alleged financial recklessness in the board.
The lawmakers unanimously adopted the motion moved during plenary session on Thursday to that effect.
They told the Universal Basic Education Board to stop further release of funds to ENSUBEB Chairman, Nneka Onuorah, pending investigations by the House.
The lawmakers also invited the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate allegations of financial misappropriation leveled against the chairman by two members of the board.
In the petition submitted by the board members, Professor Ikenna Chukwu (Permanent member 1) and Dr T.E Ayogu (Permanent member IV), they alleged that the chairman, awarded contracts for the construction and renovation of schools without the approval of the board.
"She awarded contract for the construction of seats, tables for primary schools at the cost of N199 million without the approval of the board.
"Not all of them have been supplied but the total contract sum has been paid to the contractor.
"She also awarded contracts for the supply of white boards without board’s approval and engaged in unjustifiable transfer of ENSUBEB core staff to other places.
"She appointed people who neither took exam nor attended interview for appointment as Education Secretaries in Development Centers, neglecting geographical spread in appointment," they said.
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Other allegations were that the chairman purchased computers worth N2.5 million without approval of the board, compelled primary school teachers to purchase computers through a vendor with the cost being deducted from their salaries.
They also said the chairman awarded contract for the computerisation of teachers' bio-data at N10 million which she inflated to N14 million.
The petitioners informed the lawmakers that they were not part of the document the chairman presented to the lawmakers during her interrogation as she ran the board as a sole administrator.
The House, however, ordered the chairman to discontinue with all contracts till the assembly concluded its investigation.
"The rule of law was not followed in awarding the contracts, hence the investigation.
"It is disrespect to this honourable House when one is running a government institution as a private business," the House Leader, Sunday Ude-Okoye said.
On the non-release of their over-head cost, the state Accountant General, Paschal Okolie attributed it to the dwindling oil price which reduced the state’s share of the federation account.
The House, however, directed him to provide the state’s financial statement from the first quarter of 2015, including its share of the Federation Account, the Internally Generated Revenue and how they were disbursed, by Monday, April 27.