The registrar-general of the Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC), Garba Abubakar has said it was not true he embezzled the sum of N6.542 billion fraud leveled against him by the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), CAC branch.
Director, Public Affairs of CAC, Duke Ukaga, in a statement said the allegation was a figment of imagination of the AUPCTRE.
A petition signed by acting general secretary of AUPCTRE, Musa Upko and addressed to the chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), alleged amongst others, that Garba Abubakar has abused his office by committing financial impropriety, commercialisation of promotion exams in the CAC and inflation of contracts awarded to the CAC board chairman as well as inflation of consultancy fees.
The said petition numbered AUP-NS/CCB/Vol.1./02 and addressed to the chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal also drew the attention of the director, Investigation and Monitoring of the Code of Conduct Bureau.
But Ukaga said, “The write up is a cheap blackmail, a figment of the writer’s imagination.It smacks of mischief, an attempt to ridicule the registrar-general and the Commission.”
Responding to the allegation of shortchanging staff allowances and entitlements, Ukaga said the 2019 promotion examination was held in 2020 and no budgetary provision was made for the payment of promotion arrears dating back to January 1, 2019.
“The Board had the option to make the promotion to take effect from 1st January, 2020 but decided to retain the actual date of 1st January, 2019 so that the beneficiaries would maintain their seniority particularly when the 2020 promotion examination was being held about one month after.
“The total arrears would have been over N560million if the financial benefit was to start from 1st January, 2019.”
H e also commented on the stoppage of staff loans, saying since the introduction of Treasury Single Account (TSA), the Commission did not have a separate Revolving Loan Account as was the case in the past.
“The Commission had been approving and granting loans from the revenue account and loan recoveries were not properly accounted for.
“Some members of staff have become overexposed due to indiscriminate borrowing from commercial banks and the Staff Cooperative Society with total deductions in most cases in excess of 33 1/3 per cent contrary to the Condition of Service and Public Service Rule.
“The Commission has just created a Revolving Loan Account pursuant to the approval of the Board and the budgeted sum will be credited into the account as cash flow permits,” the statement explained.
On Staff Cooperative Loans, Ukaga said, these are matters between the members and the cooperative society.
“Management does not get involved in the activities of the cooperative society other than deducting the contributions of staff and remitting to the Society as part of ways of instituting saving culture amongst staff,” he explained.
Commenting on the allegation of stoppage of all welfare proposals, the statement said the management of CAC does not have the power to increase staff salaries and allowances without the approval of the Board and in consultation with the National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission.
On alleged non-declaration of Code of Conduct Bureau Assets Form, Ukaga said “Contrary to their claim, the registrar general has declared his assets in accordance with provisions of the laws of the land.
“It is laughable that the claimants were raising doubt about the content of Asset declaration they are not privy to. It behoves them to establish any case of wrong declaration,” he said.
On the allegation of staff victimisation/transfer, Ukaga explained that “Transfers are routine matters in the Commission as enshrined in the staff condition of service, in the course of duty a staff may be posted to any of the Commission’s offices around the country.
Commenting on the abuse of power, financial impropriety and commercialisation of promotion examination in the commission, he said “2019 examination was held on the 10th October, 2020 at JAMB CBT Centres in Abuja, Kano and Lagos.
“A total of 394 staff sat for the 2019 promotion examination.
“The result of the examination was published the same day at the Commission’s website upon receipt from JAMB.
“At the end of final collation, a total of 258 candidates were successful and promotion letters were issued to the staff upon approval by the Board of the Commission.
“It is highly mischievous for anybody to claim that the process was commercialised.
“While considering the report on the promotion examination, the Board expressed concern over the exponential growth in the number of staff on certain rank which was completely disproportionate to the total number of staff in the Commission and its implication to staff cost and the entire structure of the Commission.
“No responsible organisation will allow two grade levels in the staff structure to account for over one-third of the total workforce and 40 per cent of staff cost.
“It was on this basis that the Board approved maximum manning levels for officers at the levels of Directors (GL17), Deputy Directors (GL16), Assistant Directors (GL15), Principal Managers (GL 14) and Senior Managers (GL 13).”