The House of Representatives yesterday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to dismiss and prosecute the Director-General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mustapha Maihaja, for diverting N33billion North East Food Security Emergency Intervention Fund.
The resolution followed the consideration of report of the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness chaired by Ali Isa (PDP, Gombe) on the “need to investigate the violation of public trust in NEMA and approve recommendations therein.”
The report and recommendations were disclosed in a Committee of the Whole chaired by Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun (APC, Osun).
“Based on the investigation conducted by the Committee, it has been established that the Federal Government of Nigeria lost over N33 billion as a result of mismanagement or outright embezzlement occasioned by the actions or inactions of the NEMA DG, Mustapha Yinusa Maihaja.
“It is consequently recommended that Mr. Maihaja be relieved of his duties by President Muhammadu Buhari and be handed over to the relevant agencies for prosecution,” the report read in part.
It also recommended that the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recover another N1.15bn from the NEMA DG.
The report also condemned the inefficiency of NEMA and the Ministry of Budget and National Planning for the long delay in clearing 6,779 metric tonnes of rice donated by the Chinese government to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North East.
It said six NEMA Directors, namely Akinbola Hakeem, Alhassan Nuhu, Emenike Umesi, Mohammed Kannar, Mamman Ibrahim and Deji Ganiyu be immediately reinstated by the agency and all their entitlements paid.
On the receipt and utilization of N1.6bn meant for flood victims, the Committee directed further probe of Maihaja and the recovery of N700m from him by relevant agencies.
Meanwhile, NEMA has rejected the report of the House of Representatives which indicted it of poor management of relief items meant for 16 states.
It said some of the findings and conclusions presented by the House Committee did not reflect the facts and documents placed before it by NEMA.
The agency made its position known in a statement last night.
“The House of Representatives, at its sitting of 8th November 2018, which was aired live on the Nigerian Television Authority received the Report of the House Committee on Emergency and Preparedness Response on the alleged violation of public trust against the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
“We were shocked to hear some of the findings and conclusions presented by the Committee on the issues, which did not reflect the facts and documents placed before it by NEMA.
“While we shall in due course be making a more comprehensive response to all the points made, it is most important to clarify the following:
“On the Port Clearance and Transportation of Emergency Food Assistance by Chinese Government, the Federal Government received a total of 6,779MT of Rice for IDPs in the North East as donation by the Chinese Government. This amounted to 271 containers, which arrived Apapa Ports between June and October 2017.”