By Musa Adamu
The African Action Congress (AAC) has demanded immediate probe of Treasury House fire and called for the arrest and prosecution of all those involved in this dastardly act against the country.
In a statement issued by the chairman of the party, Leonard Ezenwa, AAC said “It is outrageous and suspicious that the fire would gut the Treasury House where the Federal Accountant General’s office is located within 24hours the leadership of the National Assembly expressed concern over inappropriate handling of Coronavirus Funds and Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government.
It would be recalled that in same meeting, the National Assembly said it would partner with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in the ongoing disbursement of palliatives by the Federal Government to cushion the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on poor and vulnerable Nigerians to ensure that there is effectiveness and efficiency that those who are supposed to benefit, benefit directly as the current approach is defective.
The party stated that coincidence between mounting calls by Nigerians and the National Assembly to make sure that accountability, probity and transparency are effected on the Coronavirus funds, the Treasury House, housing crucial and sensitive documents relating to Government finances and COVID-19 funds which is now seem to be gutted by fire is uncanny.
“AAC demands the arrest of top management and staff in this establishment while a thorough independent investigation be set up to ascertain the immediate and remote causes of the fire.
“The party calls for the immediate resignation of the Minister of Finance and Budget Planning, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed and suspension and arrest of the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris pending outcome of the fire investigation.”
It said further that with this development, the trust profile of the Buhari government has further been dragged to the mud, saying that it has succeeded in exposing Nigeria as a nation run by unserious and wicked people.
“AAC insists that every kobo received from assortment of quarters relating to COVID-19, including individual, corporate, and multi-lateral and other agencies should be accounted for without delay. We have further demeaned ourselves and no financial institution whether private or governmental, will lend funds to a country that burns its symbol of financial custody and accountability.”
“The world is watching Nigeria with consternation now. It is a big shame that the fire occurred when Nigerians are querying the COVID-19 funds disbursement particularly the purported conditional cash transfer to poorest and vulnerable Nigerians.
“The Minister of Finance and Budget Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, should quickly explain to Nigerians what led to the fire at Treasury House and give account of the #2 trillion relating to COVID-19 and other finances received and disbursed by the Presidential Task Force on Coronavirus before resigning.
“It is unfortunate that unscrupulous elements in government want to further impoverish Nigerians and subject them to more untold hardship.
“The way and manner the COVID-19 funds have so far been managed raise a lot of suspicion. Many Nigerians do not trust the custodian of these funds especially as they are government officials, insisting with this development more is required to engender trust from the populace to successfully prosecute war against COVID-19”, the statement said.