Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has been indicted over alleged illegal approval of a mismanaged N5.8 billion North East Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) intervention fund.
House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness chaired by Hon. Ali Isa, in its report Thursday noted that in contravention of constitutional provisions, Osinbajo approved the release of the sum of N5, 865, 671, 939.26 in June 2017 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account and the money was mismanaged by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
But in a swift reaction, NEMA Thursday rejected the report of the lawmakers, which indicted it of poor management of relief items meant for 16 states. NEMA argued that some of the findings and conclusions presented by the House Committee did not reflect the facts and documents placed before it by NEMA.
This is coming as the House has resolved to investigate the conduct of the last primary elections conducted by the various political parties.
The recommendations of the Investigative hearing on the violation of public trust in the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) were adopted by the House of Representatives after it was considered in the committee of the whole.
According to the House, the release of the fund for food security in the North-east contravenes Section 80(4) of the 1999 constitution as amended which states that: “No money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the federation, except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly.”
The lawmakers also alleged that it breached the provision that the National Assembly must approve all issuance of Eurobond from which the Minister of Finance and the Accountant General of the Federation directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to pay.
The committee also called for the dismissal and prosecution of the Director-General of NEMA, Mr. Mustapha Maihaja, over allegations of fraud, corruption and embezzlement of N33 billion Emergency Intervention Fund, as well as all the government officials involvement in the approval, processing, release and diversion of the fund.
Meanwhile, NEMA Thursday rejected the report of the lawmakers, which indicted it of poor management of relief items meant for 16 states. NEMA argued that some of the findings and conclusions presented by the House Committee did not reflect the facts and documents placed before it by NEMA.
“We were shocked to hear some of the findings and conclusions presented by the Committee on the issues, which did not reflect the facts and documents placed before it by NEMA,” the agency said in a statement last night..
“On the Port Clearance and Transportation of Emergency Food Assistance by Chinese Government, the federal government received a total of 6,779 metric tonnes of rice for IDPs in the North East as donation by the Chinese Government. “This amounted to 271 containers, which arrived Apapa Ports between June and October 2017.
“The processes of securing duty exemption, waivers and other related issues took several months, but the total quantity was subsequently cleared from the Apapa Port, transported and delivered to NEMA warehouses in the North East. It was thereafter distributed to the IDPs in the States of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe,” NEMA explained.
“Documents on the transaction, including distribution to the IDPs were made available to the Committee. “The correct total value of the rice is about N2.25 Billion (50 Million Chinese Yuan) and the amount spent on clearing, demurrage and storage was about N450 Million, not the N800 Million as alleged by the Committee.
“On EFCC investigation of the suspended staff of NEMA, the suspension of the six NEMA officers was a decision of its Governing Council based on the Interim Report of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which indicted them for financial misappropriation. The suspension was in line with Public Service Rules and the extant Guidelines on Appointment, Promotion and Discipline.
“On the approval of N1.6 billion granted by the federal government for the procurement and delivery of relief Items to 16 States affected by flood in 2017, due process was observed in the procurement of the relief items and all items meant for the 16 states were received and acknowledged by respective state governments.
“Documents evidencing the acknowledgement of the items were made available to the House Committee.
“On the federal government Emergency Food Intervention in the North East (EFINE), EFINE was a project implemented by a Presidential Committee comprising of relevant Ministries and Agencies of Government in response to the threat of hunger and starvation in the North Ease based on strong warning received from the United Nations in April 2017.
“All approvals were secured in accordance with due process, while the Committee and the UN World Food Programme worked collaboratively in the sourcing and distribution of the food items,” NEMA explained.
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