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NEMA fraud: We’ll not stop investigation – Reps

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NEMA fraud: We’ll not stop investigation – Reps

The House of Representatives has said it cannot be intimidated to discontinue its investigation into alleged violation of public trust and due process in the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

It however decried what it described as attempts by some individuals to pitch it against the presidency, saying it has nothing against Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Briefing the media, members of the House committee on national emergency and disaster management led by Hon. Ehiogwa Johnson Agbonayinma (APC, Edo) said the panel was worried at media reports concerning the ongoing investigation by the committee.

He said, “we also observed with dismay, the ongoing campaign of calumny sponsored to pitch the House against the presidency especially his Excellency, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

“The VP’s only involvement is because according to the law establishing NEMA, Section 2Sun-section 2 (a) the vice president is the chairman of the governing council; we, therefore, want to know if the council under the vice president authorized the suspension of the directors”.

While noting that the Constitution empowers the National Assembly to investigate corruption and waste, Agbonayinma stressed that the committee will leave no stone on unturned until the truth is unearthed.

“We want to state unequivocally that no amount of blackmail or campaign of calumny will deter or prevent us from conducting this investigation.

On the suspended directors in the agency, the lawmakers explained that the Director General of NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja informed the committee at one of its hearings that he suspended them.

“Engr. Mustapha Maihaja himself during one of the committee hearing, when he introduced a new director of finance and else sought to know what happened to the former director and he admitted to suspending them.

“The committee also sought to know whether the suspension followed due process because these same directors are witnesses in the ongoing investigation”, he said.

The House committee is amongst other things, the release of N5.9 billion food intervention in the Northern; release of N1.6 billion for Libya Returnees and the un-accounted N10 billion release from the ecological fund. The committee at its last sitting summoned the vice president and all the suspended directors to appear before it.
It would be recalled that the Presidency on Monday released what it described as an authoritative report on how seven suspended directors of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) allegedly stole over a billion naira, $284,000 and £95,000.

A statement by an official of the presidency said the report revealed that the immediate past NEMA Director General, Mohammed Sani Sidi and maintained 20 different accounts in various banks.

The official alleged that the suspended staff had hurriedly and illegally taken the matter to the House of Representatives in a pre-emptive move to forestall the ongoing investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Accordingly to the report, a report submitted to the Presidency by agencies involved in the investigations and activities of the suspended directors revealed clear cases of abuse of office, graft and collusion on the part of the NEMA directors.

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