How Head Of Service Usurped Powers In Alleged Bid To Determine Who Emerges Nigeria’s Accountant-General

It has been revealed that Nigeria’s Head of Service Folasade Yemi-Esan has been usurping the powers of the Minister of Finance in her attempt to allegedly manipulate the process of selecting the substantive Accountant-General of the Federation.

Notwithstanding the fact that, amongst the responsibilities of the Head of Service did not include the appointment of the Accountant General of the Federation, but advising Mr. President on the appointment, posting and deployment of Permanent Secretaries.

The Accountant General of the Federation is the administrative head of the country’s treasury, and the office holder is appointed by the President based on professionalism, capacity, experience and integrity, to serve a four-year term, according to the constitution.

Recall that the Acting Accountant General of the Federal Okotieaboh Sylva had been secretly appointed after the unceremonious removal of Chukwuyere Amanekwe, who had been appointed to replace Ahmed Idris, who was sacked for allegedly stealing billions of public funds.

Sylva stands no chance of becoming the substantive Accountant General because he is due to compulsorily retire in the first quarter of 2023.
now expected to retire after

Mrs Folasade Yemi-Esan has already issued a circular to that effect, even though it does not fall within the purview of her duties – without consultation with the Mnistry of Finance, an official of that department who does not want his name in print, said.

Meanwhile, official documents seen by CHECKPOINTCHARLEY confirmed that the Head of Service is bypassing the Ministry of Finance as the federal government commenced the process of shopping for a new AGF as the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation.

Acting at the behest of Mrs Yemi-Esan, the Office of the Accountant General, in a circular dated 11th November 2022, forwarded the names of 9 candidates pooled from different ministries for screening for the post of substantive Accountant-General of the Federation.

But checks carried out showed that most of them had not been on Grade Level 17 for the past two years, which is a pre-requisite to qualify for appointment into that position.

It was gathered that the names were forwarded to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation after Yemi-Esan had directed permanent secretaries to send details of eligible directors on salary grade 17 to her on/or before 4:00pm on Wednesday, July 6, 2022.

It should be noted that in the selection exercise, those who have attained the position of substantive director (salary grade 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, while officers undergoing disciplinary proceedings are excluded from it.

When contacted the Director, Information, Press and Public Relations, OAGF, Mr Henshaw Ogubike, did not pick calls placed to him.

Recall that the President of the Civil Society Groups For Good Governance, Ogakwu Dominic had urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the selection of the next Accountant-General is merit-based.

“The crux of the matter is that we want the screening process to de-emphasise the obsolete use of examination as a major determinant for recruiting the accountant-general of the federation, given the pivotal and influential functions of the office on our economy. Afterall, it is now visible to the blind and audible to the deaf that examination is not the true test of knowledge – a cursory look at some public servants in office today lends credence to this fact,” he said,With the Nigerian economy in tatters, Mr. Dominic advice could not have been more appropriate.

He added that it must be focused on credentials, past and present work, experience, competence, professionalism, capacity and character viz-a-viz the principles of accountability, integrity and transparency. After all, recent examinations conducted by the Head of Service were accompanied with allegations of corruption and compromise.

CHECKPOINTCHARLEY was told by reliable sources how Mrs Yemi-Esan is allegedly manipulating the process in her bid to install her preferred candidate as the Accountant General of the Federation.

One of the sources alleged that her proxies are promising some of the candidates help to pass the exams and be selected.

However, it was unclear if money changed hands.

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