Mr. Dayo Apata (SAN), the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice and Solicitor-General of the Federation, says the ministry has zero allocation for constituency or zonal intervention projects in the 2019 budget.
Apata said this in a statement issued by Dr Umar Gwandu, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Minister, on Wednesday in Abuja.
In a letter dated Dec. 3, 2019, addressed to the Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC), Apata described media reports on the matter as erroneous, mischievous and misleading.
He said that the attention of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice was drawn to a publication in a national daily on Dec. 2 where the ministry was alleged to have inserted N2.7 billion in its 2019 Appropriation for Community Projects.
“The report prompted the reaction and rebuttal of the said misleading publication and to as well avail the authentic data at our disposal which is in harmony with the 2019 Appropriation by the National Assembly for the Ministry.”
The permanent secretary said for the avoidance of doubt, it was of paramount importance to state that the Federal Ministry of Justice had no constituency project in its budgets as a ministry.
He added that after thorough investigation, the ministry realised that two agencies under its supervision; the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had provisions for constituency projects due to their statutory functions.
“While NAPTIP was allocated 110 million naira, NDLEA has 766.46 million naira which amount to 876.46 million naira as against the N2.7 billion as mischievously exaggerated by the media.
“The budgets of statutory parastatals under its supervision in that respect was unduly overblown.
“It is imperative to explain that the stated amount is not contained in the 2019 budget of the Ministry of Justice and that the ministry is not aware of such allocation.
“The intent of the letter is to substantially establish that the sum mentioned in the aforesaid publication is at variance with the statutory allocation of the Ministry in the 2019 budget”.
He said “unfortunately, consequent upon the said publication, our office has been inundated with enquires, questions and news reporters requesting for clarification.’’