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  • Osinbajo At War with House Over N2.5b Fraud
  • The Presidency is not taking kindly to a recent
    invitation by the House of Representatives to
    Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to appear before
    an ad hoc committee.
    The Ali Isa-led committee wants Osinbajo to
    appear before it on why six directors of NEMA,
    who were implicated in a N2.5billion fraud, were
    suspended.
    The Presidency, The Nation gathered last night,
    considers the invitation an affront to its anti-
    corruption campaign and a plot to frame up
    Osinbajo ahead of the 2019 polls.
    Sources hinted that Osinbajo may not appear
    before the House Ad Hoc Committee.
    The VP statutorily heads the Governing Board of
    NEMA which, about a week ago, suspended six
    directors of the agency following a report from
    the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
    (EFCC).
    The affected directors are the 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.
    An investigation by The Nation revealed that the
    Presidency was shocked by the decision of the
    committee to summon the Vice President over
    the suspension of the directors.
    It suspects that the move could be a
    smokescreen to frame him up ahead of next
    year’s polls.
    “The Presidency felt slighted by the attitude of
    the Ad Hoc committee to the Vice President
    when it is obvious that the suspension of the
    directors was based on an investigation
    conducted by the EFCC,” a well placed source
    said.
    “It is more irritating to the government that the
    suspended employees went to report their
    employer (the Board of NEMA) to the Ad Hoc
    Committee of the House.
    “The Presidency sees the directors’ action as an
    attempt to use the House to cover up their
    tracks. This is a case of corruption fighting back.
    “This is the same VP that has been in the
    vanguard of smothering the fragile relationship
    between the Executive and the Legislature.
    “Ordinarily, the VP enjoys constitutional immunity
    and if there was no more to the issue, the Ad
    Hoc Committee should not have summoned
    Osinbajo.”
    The government source said the VP might not
    appear before the Ad Hoc Committee because a
    pre-determined agenda is being suspected by the
    presidency.
    “There is a strong suspicion that some forces are
    hell bent to rubbish the Vice President ahead of
    2019 polls,” the source said.
    “The VP personally felt slighted from the security
    reports available to him.”
    The EFCC had submitted a March 1, 2018 report
    on alleged fraud in NEMA to the Vice President.
    According to the EFCC, the investigation
    bordered on “alleged case of conspiracy, abuse
    of office, misappropriation and diversion of public
    funds reported to the office of the Vice-President,
    Federal Republic of Nigeria against the former
    Director General of the National Emergency
    Management Agency (NEMA) and others
    forwarded to the commission for discreet
    investigation.”
    Some of the alleged sharp practices uncovered
    by the EFCC are:
    Whereabouts of N166m out of N285m realized
    from the commercialization of NEMA’s air
    ambulance;Alleged short-change of Federal
    Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) with N354, 900,
    105. 24N238million NEMA cash placed in Fixed
    Deposit by a directorInterest on Fixed Deposit
    diverted single-handedly by a directorSome
    directors have about 5 to 20 accountsNEMA
    funds moved into personal accounts of
    directorsFrivolous emoluments claims that were
    wrongly processed by Directors and some
    officials of the agency.About N66m out of
    N280m meant for displaced traditional rulers in
    the Northeast still unaccounted forCurious
    deposit of suspicious funds into domiciliary
    accounts of top directors
    The report says in part: “From the investigation
    carried out so far, officials could not account for
    funds transferred from NEMA account to their
    personal accounts.
    “Moreover, the funds were being withdrawn in
    cash and in some cases transferred to family
    members. Also, it was discovered that some of
    these funds were placed in fixed deposit; while
    both the principal and interest were withdrawn in
    cash by the depositor.
    “Furthermore, the issue of companies
    incorporated by the officials of NEMA who are
    Public Servants is against the Public Service
    Rules. This is more so as the companies are
    active and still receiving funds in some cases
    from NEMA.
    “There were frivolous emoluments claims that
    were wrongly processed by Directors and some
    officials of the agency.
    “Against this background, EFCC is of the opinion
    that placing the officials involved under
    suspension will assist the successful completion
    of our investigation. “ This is the only way the
    commission can have unfettered access to all
    the necessary documents that will aid our
    investigation. It is therefore recommended that
    the Officials who are already indicted in the case
    be placed on suspension pending the conclusion
    of the investigation.
    “”The aspect of fake IDP camps and relief
    materials are still being investigated.
    Investigation is still on-going and further
    developments will be communicated.”
    Source:The Nation

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