Sunday, May 16, 2021

NEMA: Governor fingered in plot against Osinbajo

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Naija247news, Nigeria
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

•Presidency uncovers plot to use IDPs to stage protest

A state governor has been identified for involvement in an alleged plot to rubbish Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on the operation of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Osinbajo heads the board of NEMA which has distributed relief materials to more than 16 states in the last one year.

Also uncovered by the Presidency, is an alleged plot by some people to instigate Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to stage a phony protest to the National Assembly against the NEMA board.

The House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness is currently investigating the activities of NEMA since 2017.

The committee is probing the disbursement of the following by the agency : N5.9 billion food intervention in the North East; N3.1 billion food intervention in the North East; N1.6 billion for Libya returnees; N1.5 billion for flood intervention in 16 states; alleged N400million demurrage incurred on 6,779 metric tons of rice donated by China ; N800 million demurrage on donated rice by China and unaccounted N10 billion released from Ecological funds.

The committee is already on the war path with the Osinbajo-led NEMA board over the suspension of six directors of NEMA for alleged fraud.

The directors were allegedly indicted and recommended for suspension by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Suspended are Director of Finance and Accounts, Akinbola Hakeem Gbolahan; Ag. Director, Special Duties, Mr. Umesi Emenike; Director, Risk Reduction, Mallam Alhassan Nuhu; Pilot in-charge Air Ambulance and Aviation Unit, Mr. Mamman Ali Ibrahim; the Chief Maintenance Officer, Mr. Ganiyu Yunusa Deji; and the Director of Welfare, Mr. Kanar Mohammed.

While the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita claimed that the suspension of the six directors by the NEMA board was in order, the Director-General of NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja said that N1.5 billion suspicious contracts were awarded by the former Director-General, before his own assumption of duty.

The Nation gathered that N1.1billion contracts were awarded between January 1 and March 31, 2017 whereas Maihaja assumed office on April 21, 2017.

The DG said that “Presidency made sure that all contracts in respect of other votes were approved by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).

The presidency believes the ongoing probe is aimed at rubbishing the Vice President who was summoned last week.

A highly placed source said yesterday that a state governor is ‘coordinating’ the plot against Osinbajo.

“The forces against the Osinbajo-led board are being coordinated by a governor whose interest is to rubbish the VP ahead of 2019 poll,” the source said.

“The governor was uncomfortable with the composition of NEMA board and he felt one or two members, allegedly opposed to him, should not be on board.

“Osinbajo has however refused to bow to pressure from the governor to drop the affected NEMA members.

“The same governor, who was said to have had some issues with the presidency in the past few months, had been allegedly working against President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election.

“Their plot is to use NEMA as a spring board for the attack against top presidency officials especially the Vice President. They want to rubbish the President and his VP to prove that the Buhari administration is not transparent.

“I think everything boils down to the countdown to 2019 poll and some people are out to fight dirty.”

The source said that the Presidency was the approving authority for all releases and expenditures of NEMA before the inauguration of NEMA Board about three weeks ago.

“So, if the House is investigating NEMA activities, their target is Osinbajo,” the source said.

“Initially, they claimed that NEMA mismanaged the 6,779 metric tons of rice donated by the Chinese government without knowing that the offer was accepted by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning and when the ministry had no votes to clear the rice, it transferred the cost of the demurrage to NEMA.

“The responsibility was passed over to NEMA on August 14, 2017 and it only received the original documents in December 4, 2017 and Jan. 2018.

“The ongoing cleansing of NEMA of bad eggs and sleaze was said to have affected some forces including top officials of the agency, contractors, some lawmakers and others benefitting from the status quo.

“Unknown to them the presidency is determined to get to the roots of the N2.5billion fraud in NEMA.”

It was also gathered that security agencies have stumbled on plans by some anti-Buhari forces to deploy IDPs to stage a protest against NEMA and its leadership.

“They have paid some agents that will coordinate the protest in Abuja. But the Federal Government is probing those behind this protest,” the source said.

At its sitting on Thursday, Ali Isa said: “”We have no other interest; we have no business with any agency

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