Fraud: Past NBA Officers Spent N64M From MacArthur Account Illegally, Foundation Insist NBA must Refund

The Audited Project Account of a Major Partner of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, the MacArthur foundation has revealed that officers of the NBA spent a total of Sixty Four Million Naira (N64,000,000,00)  from the Foundation’s project account without authorization of any sort. The Foundation has mandated NBA to refund the said sum to its account without delay.

This was revealed by the financial report presented at the National Executive Committee, NEC meeting of the Association held on 28th March at the NBA House in Abuja.

The MacArthur Foundation in 2017 entered into a project with the  Nigerian Bar Association to promote the adoption and implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, by providing technical support to state governments. The Foundation gave NBA a grant of $600,000 (N210 Million). The Account of the Project was managed by NBA Officials led by the influential Former NBA Publicity Secretary, Mr. Muritala Abdul-Rasheed popularly known as “Murray”.

The NBA President, Paul Usoro SAN, at the NEC Meeting, Sought the approval of the NBA NEC to adopt the misappropriated sum as official debt of the NBA, but a member opposed the request and moved a motion that the debt be paid strictly by those who misappropriated same. The motion was however countered by another member who urged the NBA NEC to adopt the debt as the officers that mismanaged the fund acted within their official capacity while spending the money and therefore cannot be held liable in their personal capacity.

The President stated that the counter was not altogether true, but that he wanted NBA to learn the important lessons of sticking to due process and financial integrity in the managing of the association’s funds. Stating that interrogating the withdrawals would lead to unpleasant consequences.

The Misappropriation of the MacArthur Project Fund happened under the leadership of Mr AB Mahmoud SAN and Aare Isiaka Abiola Olagunju, the immediate past President and General Secretary of the Association.

 

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