Alleged NEMA fraud: Our investigation targeted at present leadership - Lawmakers

Alleged NEMA fraud: Our investigation targeted at present leadership - Lawmakers

- Lawmakers of the House of Representatives has said it was mandated to investigate corruption within the National Emergency Management Agency

- The ad-committee headed by Ali Isa said only activities within the agency between January 2017 and now would be investigated

- Isa said the committee did not receive petition against the past DGs of the emergency agency

The House of Representatives has said that it has only been mandated to investigate alleged corrupt practices within the National Emergency Management Agency from January 2017 till date.

The acting chairman of an ad-hoc committee raised by the House, Ali Isa said committee only had the mandate to investigate the activities in NEMA within the past 12 months when Mustapha Maihaja became the DG.

Speaking to journalists at the end of a resumed hearing on Thursday, April 19, Isa gave reasons the probe would not extend the tenure to the past DGs.

Ali said the committee did not receive petition against the past DGs of the emergency agency.

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He said: "We are not aware of anything concerning the former DG. I have not received any petition concerning that. As far as I'm concerned, the committee's assignment that was given, was the investigations the House mandated that we should conduct from January 2017 to date, in a motion that was referred to the committee and there are specifications and referrer to that motion."

Isa also said that Yobe state had already testified against NEMA over the distribution of relief materials which were not distributed in the state. He said more states from northeast presently ravaged by crisis and needed relief material would be appearing before the House committee on Tuesday, April 24.

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He also debunked reports that the leadership of the House had ulterior motive in the ongoing investigation against the present NEMA DG.

Isa said: "We have no other interest , we have no business with any agency that wants to investigate anyone. During our investigations, nobody, including the DG mentioned the former DG that would warrant his invitation.

"Well, the investigation is still ongoing and we are not foreclosing that we will not invite him. Anybody that is named, if the committee could send invitations to higher officers , then there is nobody that cannot be invited. We rely on section 89 of the constitution that empowers us to invite anybody to appear before the committee."

Maihaja had become the director general of the agency in April last year. While appearing before the committee, the DG said he inherited some rot in the agency and was doing his best to correct them.

He said the agency also complied to the Public Procurement Act in the awarding of contracts for the supply of N1.6 billion relief materials to flood victims in 16 states within the last one year.

Meanwhile, earlier reported that a civil society group had raised concerns over alleged attempts by some officers of NEMA to undermine ongoing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on the agency.

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The group, New Initiative for Credible Leadership (NICREL) said the officers who were sacked by the agency were using mercenaries to smear the image of the present NEMA DG.

NICREL said these mercenaries were going about their campaign of calumny using non-existent documents against Maihaja.

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