Update: House of Reps. Public Hearing of NEMA Funds Probe
Turaki Hassan, Abuja: The House of Representatives has declared that no amount of blackmail or campaign of calumny will make it end its ongoing investigation into violation of public trust by National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The House also said it has observed the ongoing campaign of calumny sponsored to pitch the House against the Presidency, and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) in particular.
This was in reaction to reports in some national dailies, on the ongoing investigation by the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness on the “Need to Investigate Alleged Violation of Public Trust in National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
The lawmakers also clarified in a statement signed by Hon E.J Agbonayinma, that the House is not fixated on any person in particular, but only on finding out the truth behind the allegations of diversion of N22 billion intervebtion funds.
“We want to state unequivocally that no amount of blackmail or campaign of calumny will deter or prevent us from conducting this investigation.”
“We have also observed with dismay, the ongoing campaign of calumny sponsored to pitch the House against the Presidency, especially His Excellency the Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN.
“The VP’s only involvement is because according to the law establishing NEMA, Section 2 Sub-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 authorised the suspension of the directors.
“Notwithstanding, the provision of Section 89 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), empowers the National Assembly to invite any person to appear before it, or its Committee during investigations.
“The Committee resolved that His Excellency the Vice President can send anybody to represent him considering his busy schedules.
This Committee will leave no stone unturned until we unearth the truth”, the statement read.
Furthermore, the House denies that it received a petition from suspended members of staff of NEMA, adding that they got to know about their suspension through a disclosure made by the director general, Engr. Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja, during one of the hearings.
“We also want to put it on record that as at today there is no petition from any staff of NEMA to the Committee or the House of Representatives.
“The issue of the suspended directors was mentioned by the Director General Engr. Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja himself during one of the Committee hearing, when he introduced a new Director of Finance and we 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.
“We will also not shield any public officer who soil their hands no matter how highly or lowly placed,” the lawmakers said.
The investigation is on the following releases from January to December, 2017;
1. Release of 5.9B Food Intervention in the North East,
2. Release of 3.1B Food Intervention in North East
3. Release of 1.6B for Libya Returnees
4. Release of 1.6B Flood Intervention for 16 States,
5. Donation of 6,779 Metric Tons of Rice by Chinese Government.
6. Payment of about N800Million Demurrage on the donated Rice by Chinese Rice
7. The un-accounted 10Billion release from Ecological Funds.