The House of Representatives have said they are not ready to back down or be intimidated by anyone from investigating the alleged N22billion fraud rocking the National Emergency management Agency, NEMA, for which the office of the Vice President supervises.
In a statement signed by Hon E.J Agbonayinma of the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, the House said it has observed a well-choreographed campaign of calumny allegedly sponsored to pitch the House and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo over the alleged fraud in NEMA.
The House is insisting that the Vice President or his Representative be made to appear to confirm if his office approved the diversion of N22billion intervention funds.
The statement reads:
Attention of the House of Representatives has been drawn 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)”. 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 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) which 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.
We will also not shield any public officer who soil their hands no matter how highly or lowly placed.
We want to state unequivocally that no amount of blackmail or campaign of calumny will deter or prevent us from conducting this investigation.
For the records, this 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.
Hon. E. J. Agbonayinman (APC, Edo)