Reps want FG to suspend contributions to Lake Chad Basin

…to probe NEMA DG

The House of Representatives has directed the Federal Government to immediately suspend Nigeria’s contribution to the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LBCB) pending when the resolution of allegation of corruption and misappropriation of funds against the executive secretary, Engr. Sanusi Abdullahi are investigated and satisfactorily resolved.

The decision was consequent upon the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance on the need to address the flagrant abuse of the authority and resolution of the House by the executive secretary of LCBC, sponsored by Hon. Abubakar Chika Adamu (APC, Niger). While adopting the motion, the House also directed the Ministry of Water Resources to issue a letter mandating the ES to hand over to the newly appointed Executive Secretary since his tenure has expired. Also yesterday, the House resolved to investigate allegations of corruption and misappropriation of funds against the director general of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Mustapha Maihaja.

The House accused the agency of illegal diversion of funds and violation of due process in the award of contracts, which were allegedly awarded to cronies well beyond the DG’s threshold. Leading debate on the motion, Adamu recalled that the House in November 2017, passed a resolution mandating its Committee on Lake Chad Basin Commission to conduct a thorough investigation into allegations of mismanagement, lawlessness and misappropriation in the commission. He said the committee’s invitation to the executive secretary and other relevant officers of the commission was never honoured.

Adamu noted that Engr. Abdullahi has a penchant for flagrant disregard of the parliament on the basis of a claim to immunity based on a memo purportedly issued from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the December 20, 2016. That lawmaker argued that the Lake Chad was of strategic interest to Nigeria even as it stands as a major contributor to the funds of LCBC, adding that the funds contributed to it constitute tax generated from the common wealth of the citizens of Nigeria hence, the need that the funds are appropriately utilized pursuant to Section 88(1)(b) of the constitution. In adopting the motion, the House also resolved to interface with the council of ministers of the LCBC on the matter with a view to allowing the committee perform its constitutional duties. Similarly, the House directed the chairman of the committee to act in his capacity as the current president of the regional parliamentary committee of the LCB member-countries to engage with his counterparts from member-parliaments with a goal to conducting forensic audit of all financial transaction by the LCBC within four years.

Culled from Here

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