House to Investigate Alleged N100bn Fraud at North East Devt Commission

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Adedayo Akinwale and Udora Orizu in Abuja

The House of Representatives is to investigate an alleged misappropriation of about N100 billion at the North East Development Commission (NEDC).

Adopting a motion of urgent public importance at yesterday’s plenary, the House mandated its Committee on NEDC to investigate the allegations and report back to the House for further legislative action.

Sponsor of the motion, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu said that the NEDC bill was signed into law in October 2017 by President Muhammdu Buhari to replace other initiatives such as the presidential initiative on North-east (PINE) and Victims Support Fund (VSF) while the board of management inaugurated in May 2019.

According to him, the commission was established with a mission of coordinating funds accruing from the federation account and donor agencies for the purposes of rehabilitating and resettling of victims of insurgency, reconstruction of homes, infrastructural development and tackling of illiteracy in the North-eastern part of the country.

He reminded the House that there has been massive displacement of Nigerian citizens in the Northeast as a result of the activities of Boko Haram insurgents, where houses, schools, mosques, churches , farmlands and businesses were destroyed thereby rendering people homeless and jobless.

The NEDC he said was set up to ameliorate the sufferings of the people is alleged to be enmeshed in serious corrupt practices by the management.

He expressed concern about corrupt practices in the agency and over inflation of contracts, awards of non-existent contracts, massive contract splitting and flagrant disregard for the procurement laws in the award of contracts.

He alleged that ‘the N100 billion so far disbursed to the commission by the federal government is said to have vanished under a year without any visible impact on the refugees nor any infrastructural development credited to the name of the commission in the whole of the Northeast.

Elumelu said if these consistent abuse of procurement laws are not put to check, they may defeat the purpose for the establishment of the commission, hence the need for an urgent investigation.

 

… to Invite Indian Commissioner over Assault on Nigerian Students in India

Udora Orizu in Abuja

The House of Representatives at the plenary yesterday resolved to immediately engage the Indian High Commissioner following the assault on two Nigerian students in India.

On July 15, two Nigerian students were seriously beaten up by eight people in Roorkee Institute of Technology (RIT) in India after a disagreement with payment for food at the college canteen.

The House also mandated the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mr. Abike Dabiri-Erewa to urgently investigate the remote cause of the disagreement and find out their present health condition in hospital and report to the house in two weeks

It also urged the Minister of Foreign Affairs to send a strong message to his Indian counterpart conveying the Nigerian Government’s disappointment.

The resolutions followed the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance, titled, ‘Need to investigate the assault of the Nigerian students by college administrators in India,’ sponsored by Hon. Mohammed Musa Pali.

Moving the motion, Pali expressed worry that the students were beaten up by a mob called by the administrators of the school over disagreement with payment for food at the college canteen.

He said that the students’ problem started after they could not pay for their food in the school canteen and sought permission from the administrators to go out and eat at their friend’s house but the administrators refused to grant them permission.

The lawmaker expressed concerns that the students only went to eat at their friend’s place and upon return, the college administrators called the school security and other people to beat them up.

He added that the students have been hospitalized, adding that the Indian police have arrested eight people and the school security guards in relation to the assault, which has been circulating on social media.