The Senate has hinted that it may set up an ad-hoc committee to probe the alleged mismanagement of N33bn by the Presidential Intervention Programme for the North-East, on resumption from its one-week recess.
According to Sunday Punch, the Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, said that the upper legislative chamber would commence the probe as soon as the House of Representatives ad-hoc committee concluded its own investigation.
The House of Representatives ad-hoc committee, probing the alleged scam, had already said Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, in his capacity as the chairman of the programme, and the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Mustapha Maihaja, were blameworthy.
The Senate spokesman spoke just as NEMA stated that the probe by the House into the N5.8bn Presidential intervention funds, approved by the vice president for the North-East, was shocking and should not be directed at NEMA alone.
The Chairman of the Reps panel, Ali Isa (APC, Gombe), had told journalists on Tuesday that Osinbajo, as chairman of the programme, issued directives leading to the release of the funds, while the NEMA DG supervised the execution of the directives.
Specifically, the Reps panel also indicted Osinbajo for allegedly approving N5.8bn North-East Intervention Fund, which it claimed was illegal.
Osinbajo had dismissed the allegation, stating that the government was obliged to make an emergency response to the humanitarian crisis in the geopolitical zone.
The senate spokesman, said the Senate would carry out an independent investigation into the issue considering the weight of the allegations.
Murray-Bruce said, “It is very likely that the Senate will institute a probe into the issue but you will get the details on Tuesday. We will allow the Reps committee to finish its probe before we start our own.
“The allegations against those in charge of the programme (Osinbajo and Maihaja) are very serious and we will not allow it to go like that. We will take the decision on Tuesday.”