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₦5.86 Billion Scandal: Lawmakers’ Report Indict Nigerian Vice President Osinbajo

Unic Press UK: Nigerian veep Yemi Osinbajo has been indicted in a report – ‘Report Of Investigative Hearing On The Violation Of Public Trust In The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)’ – Ref No HR 52/2018, which was submitted by the House of Representatives Committee On Emergency And Disaster Preparedness.

In its report, which was made public on Thursday, the committee said that the Vice President Osinbajo, contrary to Section 80 (4) of the 1999 Constitution and Section 16 (2) of the Procurement Act and Section 80 (2) of the 1999 Constitution, had, in June 2017 when he was the acting president, authorized/released [without recourse to the National Assembly) the sum of circa ₦5.86 billion from the North East Intervention Fund; adding that the funds were eventually mismanaged by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

“On the emergency intervention of food security to the North-East to support the population ravaged by insurgency, a sum of ₦5,865,671,939.26 was approved and released in June 2017 vide a memo raised from the Office of the Acting President, directing the Hon. Minister of Finance and the Accountant General of the Federation to so act. This is in contravention of approval of NASS on the issuance of Euro Bond from which the Hon. Minister authorized the payment. The Euro Bond is for specified infrastructural projects and not for discretionary intervention. Furthermore, there is no specific appropriation by the National Assembly.” (Clerk of the Committee, Sulyman Mohammed Sarkin-Noma)

In one instance in 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari stayed 105 days’ in the United Kingdom on medical leave, resuming duties on 21st August, 2017. While on leave, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was the Acting President. And this is the period Osinbajo is said to have illegally authorized the release of public funds.

Other observations/findings/recommendations by the Committee

  • The Chinese government donated 6,779 metric tons of rice, yet no bag of rice has been delivered to any of the beneficiary 6 states in the North East region.
  • NEMA and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Budget and National Planning should account for the 6,779 Metric tons of Rice donated by the Chinese government in aid to Internally Displaced People of the North East region.
  • Four private companies – Dangote Rice Ltd, WACOT Ltd, BUA Rice Ltd and Golden Agric Input Ltd – received ₦2 billion loan each through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); and this is not appropriate being that the CBN is government banker. This loan issue should be further investigated.
  • With regard to the receipt and utilization of ₦1.6 billion for flood victims in 16 states, the ICPC and EFCC should recover the sum of ₦700 million from the Director-General of NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja.
  • The ICPC and EFCC should recover ₦1.15 billion from the present Director General of NEMA, Eng. Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja, who claims he donated same to World Food Programme (WFP) when they were ready to pay for it or import same.
  • Due to negligence on the part of NEMA, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Budget and National Planning, the Ministry of Agriculture paid about ₦800 Million as a demurrage to APM terminal and Maersk Line for the 6,779 metric tons of rice donated by the Chinese government. The ICPC, EFCC and Police should recover the sum of ₦800 million.
  • On its books, NEMA also claims to have paid ₦800 Million as a demurrage for the same consignment of the 6,779 metric tons of rice donated by the Chinese government, despite not being able to substantiate this claim via a proof of payment. The ICPC, EFCC and Police should recover the sum of ₦800 million.

 

 

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