A Nigerian Federal Lawmaker Mr. Ali Ndume, a Senator from Borno is caught up in a total refusal to account for constituency project funds.
Ali Ndume, inserted N222 million into the 2017 national budget for constituency projects.
Under the deal, Ndume said he was going to supply empowerment equipment to residents of Borno South Senatorial District, the constituency he represents at the National Assembly.
Checks by Tracka shows 70% of the constituency funds have been released to Ndume. The amount the Senator has refused to account for how it was expended.
Tracka an organization that works with the community to monitor how government projects are executed has asked Ndume to account for the monies he collected, a request Ndume has since ignored.
Nigeria has legislation, the Freedom of Information Act that gives a mandatory requirement for all public institutions to ensure that they record and keep information about all its activities, operations and businesses. In addition, they shall ensure the proper organization and maintenance of all information in its custody in a manner that facilitates public access to such information.
However, Tracka engagement with Ndume and other Lawmakers shows this legislation is frequently violated by Lawmakers, Ministry Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
The Lawmakers embark on constituency projects and have demonstrated their unwillingness to account for the projects, Tracka engagements have shown.
Lawmakers often work out a deliberate plan to divert public funds using constituency project as a cover.
Ndume is the latest offender, for over a long period of time, Tracka had requested Ndume to clarify how N222 million constituency project funds he nominated in the 2017 budget was spent.
Rather than make the information sought by Tracka which is in line with the municipal law available, Ndume has chosen to ignore the request.
In a phone conversation, a senior staff of Tracka, Mr. Damen, told this newspaper that Ndume has refused to respond to question asking him to account for N222 million constituency funds he nominated in the 2017 budget. We are doing this to help communities hold their leaders accountable, he added.
WEST AFRICA REPORTERS (WAR) could not immediately reach out to Ndume for an explanation, as text messages sent to his telephone were not answered.