Reps recommend sack of NEMA DG, indict Osinbajo-led board over ‘illegal’ approval

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The house of representatives has indicted the governing board of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo over “illegal approval of N5.8 billion north-east intervention fund.”

The lawmakers also recommended the dismissal of Mustapha Maihaja, director-general of NEMA, over alleged fraud.

At plenary on Thursday, the lower legislative chamber adopted a report of its committee which also recommended the prosecution of Maihaja. The ad-hoc committee was set up to investigate the NEMA DG over alleged corruption at the agency.

The committee in its report accused the NEMA DG of “corruption and embezzlement of N33 billion emergency intervention fund” meant for the agency.

The committee findings read: “On the emergency intervention of food security to the North-East to support the population ravaged by insurgency, a sum of N5,865,671,939.26 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.

“The details further specified a directive to the Governor of CBN from the Ministry of Finance to pay the sum from the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account which the AGF is to raise a mandate for. This is in contravention of approval of NASS on the issuance of Euro Bond from which the Hon. Minister authorized the payment.

“Committee noted the flaws and infractions on the authorization granted and removal of such huge sum of money from the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account of the Federation in violation of the Constitution … due process was not followed as taxes and interest accruable to government were not deducted and remitted to the FIRS on the sums released and paid into the accounts of the different corporate entities shown above, this created colossal loss of revenue to the Federal Government.”

It said out of about N5.8 billion, “NEMA got N829,026,456 for logistics and it claimed it spent it as follows, without satisfactory evidence”.

The committee said it also discovered that the federal government “lost a total sum of over N33 billion as a result of mismanagement or outright embezzlement of funds occasioned by the actions or inactions of the Managing Director of NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja.

“It is hereby consequently recommended that the Director General of NEMA, Engr. Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja, be relieved of his duties by Mr President, Commander in Chief, Federal Republic of Nigeria and handed over to relevant authorities for prosecution.”

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