NEMA probe: Centre writes Reps, warns against political vendetta

By Stanley Onyekwere

Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has written to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, urging him to direct a total inquiry on the ongoing Investigative Hearing on the activities of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
In particular, CESJET said the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness should be directed to invite the former NEMA DG, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Sidi, the 6 suspended Directors and other indicted persons or organizations for a holistic probe and not allow itself to be consumed by political vendetta against political enemies of the Speaker.
In the letter dated April 20, 2018 and addressed to the Speaker, and signed by CESJET’s legal adviser, Edward Omaga, the anti-corruption group alleged that the ongoing probe appears to be targeted at the current Director General, while the real culprits are left to walk freely.
According to CESJET, some elements within the House of Representatives are desperate to cover the tracks of the former Director-General and the suspended 6 Directors about the alleged fraud and violation of public trust.
The letter reads parts, “The immediate past Director-General, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Sidi, paid for contracts without proper documentation and maintained 20 different accounts in various banks despite his public servant status. The EFCC found suspicious deposits amounting to 164, 000 US Dollars in his domiciliary account at Standard Chartered Bank alone, all within 18 months. At the same time, he had up to £58, 000 in his Pounds Sterling Account.
“the records are clear that the suspended Director of Finance and Accounts, Akinbola Hakeem Gbolahan, also maintained many bank accounts with questionable transactions. In particular, his account in GTBank Plc contained suspicious deposits totalling N27, 650,000. Also, deposits of over £37,000 and $120,000 were found in his domiciliary accounts, and much of these deposits flowed directly from NEMA.
“Similarly, the acting Director of Special Duties, Mr. Umesi Emenike, diverted funds meant for programmes and maintenance of the South-South Zone operations of NEMA under his supervision.
“The funds were paid directly into his accounts (14 of them have been discovered by EFCC in various banks), instead of the Zonal Office Account. Mr. Emenike was found to have withdrawn freely in cash, by electronic transfers or through ATM Machines, without any evidence of the money being used for NEMA activities.
“An EFCC report indicated that the Director of Risk Reduction, Mr. Alhassan Nuhu, also maintained five bank accounts which were apparently used as conduits to receive and distribute money from NEMA coffers. According to the report, so far, Mr. Nuhu has not been able to give a satisfactory account of the transactions, including NEMA funds moving through him to a company called Dambo Farms Limited.”

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