By Mohammed Kandi
The National Association of Akwa Ibom State Students (NAAKISS), Rivers State Chapter, has appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to clarify on the N20 million donations, which he allegedly made to the Association.
NAAKISS is accusing some “powerful” people in the presidency of hijacking and diverting a large percentage of the money for their personal use, and call on President Jonathan to confirm if N20m was actually approved for the association.
In a petition addressed to President Jonathan on October 8th, 2014, the association specifically alleged that some impersonators from the office of the Director of Administration in the Presidency swindled them of N480m.
A petition signed by Comrade Udo Odudu Joseph, president of the association, and released to various media organizations yesterday in Abuja, noted that the Association had requested the President to grace its thanksgiving occasion as a guest of honour following the appointment of Barr. Bassey Dan Abia, the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as Association’s Grand Patron by NAAKISS.
“Since we expressed our thanks to Mr. President in our publication in the Vanguard newspaper for appointing our illustrious son, Barr. Bassey Dan Abia as the MD of NDDC, we decided to invite Mr. President as our special guest of honour along with other dignitaries to grace the occasion, and his invitation letter was sent by DHL” the petition said.
“On Friday 29th August, 2014, somebody called me on phone and said are you Com. Udo Odudu Joseph the president of the NAAKISS Rivers State chapter, I said yes. He said your letter of invitation to Mr. President dated 18th August, 2014 has been received by the President.
“However, he said, Mr. President will not be able to attend the occasion because that date is a state council meeting, but has approved the sum of N20m (Twenty Million Naira) for the association as his own support.
Making further enquiries on what actually went wrong; the Association’s president said “we discovered the caller claimed he was Mr. K. P. Emefiele, Director of Administration in the Villa, telling us that we have to go through the Accountant General of the Federation to secure the money.”
“The Director Mr. K.P. Emefiele told me that he knows that we are students and that it may not be easy for us to be coming from Port Harcourt to pursue the payment of N20m. He then informed me that he will help arrange the payment easier for us but we must do PR otherwise for one year that the money will not reach our hands.
“He then told me that all PR in the Villa is paid cash. He said the process will go through the offices of Chief Security Officer (CSO), The Accountant General of the Federation and office of the Director of Administration State House, and was asked to cough out PR of N950, 000 within a week.
“We finally agreed to pay N480, 000 as advance payment and will then balance up after the payment of the N20m which we borrowed and paid when the so-called Mr. Emefiele invited us to come to Abuja.
“After staying in Abuja along with my Vice President and other members of the Association and had spent more money for our upkeep, he claimed that the Accountant General was not satisfied with the PR of N480, 000.
Continuing, Comrade Joseph and some members through their contacts in Abuja were able to go the Office of the Director of Administration who denied any knowledge of any donation.
“We introduced ourselves on entering his office he claimed ignorance, insisting that I should call the phone no with which I communicated with him which I did. On discovery that we have been swindled, we quickly went to Asokoro Police Station to get the impersonators arrested.
“In the process, two impersonators were arrested and charged to Senior Magistrate Court, Karu in Abuja where they were remanded and case adjourned to 25th November, 2014.
Incidentally, the two impersonators were discovered to be kinsmen of Mr. K.P. Emefiele the Director of Administration, State House Villa, Abuja.
When contacted, Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, said he would not comment on the matter. He charged this reporter to get in touch with the State House Director of Administration for confirmation.
However, efforts to get the Director as at the time of filing this report were unsuccessful as he had closed from the office.