By Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
The House of Representatives ad-hoc Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness has insisted that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has a case to answer over his alleged role in the disbursement of N5.865 billion Emergency Intervention Fund for the North-East.
Osinbajo as the Chairman, Governing Board of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and as Acting President in June 2017 approved N5.865,671,389,26 billion Emergency Intervention Fund for the North-East.
While the committee’s report said the approval was illegal, Osinbajo had faulted the report.
The House Ad-hoc Chairman, Hon. Ali Isa, however, told reporters in Abuja Tuesday that although there was nowhere in the committee’s report where Osinbajo was specifically mentioned, the Vice President cannot be exonerated from the mismanagement of the fund.
“Yes, of course, he (Osinbajo) does have questions to answer. He may have questions to answer because he is the chairman of the governing council of NEMA and he was acting president that gave the approval.
“Though in our report, there was nowhere specifically the committee mentioned either Vice President or Prof. Osinbajo, but what I also know is that he is the chairman of the Governing Council of NEMA. So, if he knows something that I don’t know, his office may be able to respond to some of the issues,” the lawmaker noted.
According to Isa, the committee actually sent a letter to Osinbajo to appear before the committee but he sent someone to represent him.
“The committee wanted to get more information but the governing council was suspended to jeopardise the investigation. When the committee tried to ask questions they started apportioning blames. No procurement, no contract was awarded, no single company has procurement letter; if they let me have the privilege of publishing it,” he stated.
The lawmakers have sustained their allegation that government officials diverted the sum of N5.8bn earmarked for emergency intervention and food security in the North-East” in 2017, and another N17bn released from the Ecological Fund to NEMA.
There is also the allegation that through a memo that emanated from Osinbajo’s office, he authorised the N5.8bn in June 2017 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the federation without the approval of the National Assembly in contradiction of Section 80 (4) of the 1999 Constitution.