NEMA N5.8bn: Reps Didn’t Accuse Osinbajo Of Embezzlement - Ojudu
The Vice President was accused of illegal approval of N5.8 billion north-east intervention fund.

The special adviser to the president on political matters, Babafemi Ojudu, says the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness did not level allegations of corruption against Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

Ojudu made this comment while responding to the attacks on Osinbajo, especially by critics of the current administration.

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Concise News recalls that the House of Representatives committee had accused the Vice-President of illegally approving N5.8 billion for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Based on the accusation, there have been calls on the nation’s number two citizen to throw in the towel.

Speaking on the development, Ojudu alleged that the lawmakers were being political, adding that Osinbajo was not accused of embezzlement.

His words: “It is evident that the opposition are in search of company for their acts of grand corruption which brought Nigeria to its knees as of May 2015. They cannot find that company in the vice-president,” he said.

“First, there is nowhere in the politicised house of reps report where the VP was accused of corruption or embezzlement of funds. I challenge them to quote any word or sentence that makes such an accusation.

“Even the House Committee Chairman has said there was no allegation of corruption against him. The only allegation is that he approved funds for the emergency operations in the North East from the consolidated Revenue Fund not budgeted funds. This conclusion we have proved to be false. The funds approved were from budgeted funds, specifically the Rice Levy,”

The special adviser said the plot to attack the Buhari administration by tarnishing the image of the vice-president might have been hatched at the strategic meeting of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Dubai.

“We have read reports in the media that the meeting in a foreign country of the major opposition party was centered on trying to attack the Buhari administration by targeting the vice-president using different tactics,” he said.

“It is now evident through the NEMA report, that the opposition is indeed making frantic efforts to tarnish the image of the vice-president.

“Let us remember that the approval granted by Prof. Osinbajo was in response to the threat of hunger and starvation based on information received from the United Nation World Food Programme in April, 2017. The organization had issued a warning that it would be reducing its vital support to about 1.8 million IDPs by as much as 85%, due to the corresponding reduction in funding by the donor countries. Around the same time, the United Nations Commission for Refugees in Geneva also warned of the growing risk of mass deaths from starvation among people living in the conflict areas.

“Besides, it is also important to note that the procurement process was not ignored in the release of funds, as alleged. Section 43 of the Public Procurement Act makes provision for emergency procurement, in which case the procuring entity is allowed to engage in direct contracting for goods and file a report thereafter with the Bureau of Public Procurement.

“Also, the BPP issued a ‘certificate of no objection’ to NEMA on the emergency procurement, and this addresses all issues relating to the alleged breach of due process.”