A policy group has dismissed reports that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was indicted by the House of Representatives over the crisis rocking the National Emergency Management Agency NEMA).
Global Economic Policy Initiative (GEPIn) president, Bernard Okri, noted that since the sack of six NEMA directors in April it had been monitoring the House of Representatives and its brazen support for the corrupt directors.
“We have watching keenly the probe of the suspended NEMA directors by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the vested interests blackmailing and intimidating the current NEMA leadership, as reflected in the questionable intervention of the House of Representatives ad hoc committee.
“This is corruption fighting back but what is even more frightening is the fact that the Vice President has been dragged into this because he sits atop the NEMA board.
“It would be recalled that in April, this same House of Reps committee had invited the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita and acting EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu over the legality of the suspension of these directors.
“Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, head of the CSF had said that the Vice President and NEMA board members acted in line with Public Service Rules on the suspension of the Directors and staff of the agency.
“Similarly, the EFCC had in a report to the Presidency recommended the disciplinary measure to enable it to conduct unhindered investigation and have access to vital records.
“Since the suspension of these directors, the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness chaired by Ali Isa (PDP Gombe) has been looking for ways to remove the NEMA DG, Mustapha Maihaja, so they dragged the VP’s name into it.
Okri said the group condemns and frowns at the plots by “corrupt politicians” to drag the Vice President who chairs the NEMA Board into the obvious and unnecessary politicization of the EFCC probe.
“But to claim that the VP illegally approved the release of N5.8 billion in June 2017 from the Consolidated Revenue Fund Account to NEMA is a complete mischief.
“Only the President has the powers to approve monies, not the Vice President as alleged by the House of Reps in its report.
“Secondly, it is important to know that the monies allocated for NEMA in always imputed in the budget. The Federal Government does not release money indiscriminately.
“For me, this is the clearest case of corruption fighting back. The House of Reps should not drag the Vice President into its mess.
Okri noted that it was all stage managed particularly because of the way Premium Times reported the matter. “It’s ludicrous to publish an unconfirmed report with BREAKING. This is a case that has been ongoing since April.
“Where the reporters at Premium Times sleeping when this matter began? They are part of the corruption fighting back but we will not allow it. We will stand on the side of the truth.
GEPIn stressed that Nigerians connect with VP Osinbajo because he has built his career on integrity.
“We know Prof. Osinbajo as a man of integrity and leader with strong positive character and integrity. No one would be allowed to baselessly tamper with the good reputation he has painstakingly erected over the years.
Okri said the sacked directors, Akinbola Hakeem Gbolahan, Director of Finance and Accounts; Mr. Umesi Emenike, Ag. Director, Special Duties; Mallam Alhassan Nuhu, Director, Risk Reduction; Mr. Mamman Ali Ibrahim, Pilot in-charge Air Ambulance and Aviation Unit; Mr. Ganiyu Yunusa Deji, the Chief Maintenance Officer and Mr. Kanar Mohammed, the Director of Welfare should face the probe by EFCC.
“The directors are innocent until proven guilty but increasingly they are proving that they are guilty by lobbying politicians and the media to report fake news, they should know that the Buhari administration will not tolerate any kind of corruption.