By Olayinka Ajayi
The Nigeria’s House of Representatives has said blackmail or campaign of calumny will not make it end its ongoing investigation into violation of public trust by National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
Reacting to reports in some national dailies, on the ongoing investigation by the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, Hon E.J Agbonayinma, said: ” The House is not fixated on any person in particular, but finding out the truth behind the allegations of diversion of N22 billion intervebtion funds.”
“We observed with dismay, the campaign of calumny sponsored to pitch the House against the Presidency, especially His Excellency the Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN.
“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”, he said.
The House further denied receiving 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.
“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;
- Release of 5.9B Food Intervention in the North East,
- Release of 3.1B Food Intervention in North East
- Release of 1.6B for Libya Returnees
- Release of 1.6B Flood Intervention for 16 States,
- Donation of 6,779 Metric Tons of Rice by Chinese Government.
- Payment of about N800Million Demurrage on the donated Rice by Chinese Rice
- The un-accounted 10Billion release from Ecological Funds.