Nasarawa: Bassa militia invade Toto LGA, displace communities

Linus Oota , Lafia Unidentified gunmen suspected to be Bassa militias are reported to have launched a fresh attack on

Linus Oota , Lafia

Unidentified gunmen suspected to be Bassa militias are reported to have launched a fresh attack on Umaisha, the headquarters of Opanda chiefdom in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, burning down the entire communities.

The invaded communities include: Kolo, Kuwa, Kokoto, Kanyehu, Dausu, Ogba, Ugya, Katakpa, and Umaisha villages. The resident villagers have been displaced as a result of the attacks.

This was disclosed to journalists at a press briefing in Lafia by the national president and national secretary of Egbura National Development Association (ENDA), Prof Ibrahim Aguye and Prof Yusuf Aboki, respectively.

The latest onslaught on the Ebgura town occurred on Friday, May 18, in a daylight attack shortly after the Egburas commenced Friday prayers.

“Apart from Ugya, which has experienced alleged sustained attacks by Bassas, surrounding villages such as Kolo, Katakpa and Ogba have also come under attacks on different days, as well as many other Egbura communities in Toto LGA, which are still experiencing guerrilla style attacks, while lives as well as property are being lost as a result,” the Egbura stated.

“We are constrained to give the concerned authorities some promising leads that would prove useful on the timeline of their campaigns of carnage and terror which has seen them raiding various Egbura communities of Toto LGA,” they added.

The ENDA leadership called on State Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura to go beyond the usual government diplomatic appeal for peaceful coexistence, by unearthing the causes of the ongoing crisis in Toto LGA, adding that the state government must act without holding back to squarely put the blame where it belongs.

“The state government should unmask the masquerades behind the latest crisis, which we have every reason to believe has political undertones. It should also act to bring those who are hellbent on rubbishing the uncommon feats achieved by the Nasarawa government through ignition of crisis in flash points across the state as we approach the 2019 General Elections,” ENDA appealed.

The ENDA leaders petitioned the Governor to reverse the provocative decision of Bassas to indiscriminately settle in Ugya irrespective of where they were before 1997 crisis. They also called on Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to probe the intractable crisis between the affected ethnic groups in Bassa LGA with a view to bringing the culprits, who have made peace in the area impossible, to book.

They further appealed to Bello to facilitate the return of all the Egbura Internally Displaced Persons from the communities of Ogbonka, Ogbaozanyi, Ozugbe, Ahutara, Okanga and Ibiroko Egbura communities, all under Mozum Chiefdom of Bassa LGA of Kogi State, who are currently displaced to Umaisha and surrounding communities in Nasarawa State, as well as Lokoja and surrounding communities in Kogi State, back to their ancestral homelands.

They called on both the Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to come to the aid of the people displaced from their ancestral homes and camped at Umaisha and its environs.

The post appeared first on The Sun News.

165 Nigerians Make Voluntary Return From Libya

A total of 165 Nigerians in Libya have voluntarily returned to the country. The returnees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed

A total of 165 Nigerians in Libya have voluntarily returned to the country.

The returnees arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos Cargo area at  9:45 p.m on Thursday, with the assistance of the International Organisation for migration.

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) zonal coordinator, Yakubu Suleiman received the returnees on behalf of the Federal Government from the IOM Head of Mission in Nigeria, Enira Krdzalic.

READ ALSO: Osun Govt Approves Promotion, Confirmation, Conversion of Workers

Krdzalic pointed out that that IOM, with assistance from the European Union, has repatriated 7,746 Nigerians back to the country.

She asked the Nigerian government to enhance efforts in the provision of employable opportunities to the returning youths.

The post appeared first on Channels Television.

NEMA Scandal: Analysing the divergent media coverage

Gidado Yushau Shuaib Recent media reports indicate the growing uproar over financial scandals rocking the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)

Gidado Yushau Shuaib

Recent media reports indicate the growing uproar over financial scandals rocking the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) which led to the suspension of some directors by the current Director General of the agency, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja.

As a reporter of an emerging news platform (News Digest) who follows and tracks stories of events as they unfold, I observe the divergent media coverage of the saga from two different perspectives, especially as being reported by the traditional (print) and online media.

With interest in investigative reporting, I am aware of the importance of primary and secondary sources for credible information. I therefore, rely on two major news distribution agencies in Nigeria, the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN), a government owned organisation and PRNigeria, an independent Press Release platform for mostly security outfits.

However, in analysing the media coverage of NEMA, I have noticed to my amazement that the news reports from traditional media seem to defend the positions of the Director General of the agency, while the online media are more concerned about addressing the plights of the staff, including those suspended.

For instance, when the staffs of NEMA embarked on the nationwide strike last year, most of the online media, reported the protest from the perspectives of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) and Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU) of NEMA Unit.

On the other hand, the traditional print media reported the efforts of the embattled NEMA boss, Mustapha Maihaja to sanitize the agency with his appeal to the National Assembly to pass the bill seeking to amend the act establishing the Agency.

With different reports on the protest, it is evident that the online media platforms provide timely, speedy, sometimes not fully edited reports on the saga, especially from the public hearing at the National Assembly. I realise too that the mainstream or the traditional media, delay their reports and sometimes provide different perspectives from the initial online reports. I also observe that journalists, especially in the print media, tend to engage in more in-depth research before publications in the limited spaces.

A further scrutiny indicates that two major media seem to be the arrowheads in reporting the NEMA scandal from different, if not opposing perspectives. The Nation Newspaper has a pattern in promoting the activities of the current management of NEMA under Maihaja, while PRNigeria Online News Release platform provides contrary views which protect the interest of the staff of the agency. For instance, it was the Nation that broke the news on the investigation of NEMA staff with a story captioned “EFCC indicts ex-NEMA DG, six directors for N2.5b ‘fraud’” and followed with another report the following day that “Alleged N2.5b fraud: NEMA board suspends six directors.”

After the report, the House of Representatives Committee on Disaster Management called for a continuation of a public hearing on abuse of trust by the DG NEMA which was widely covered with PRNigeria syndicating and publishing a story titled: “How NEMA Boss, Maihaja Blows N1.6bn Flood Victims Fund on Fake Firms… House Panel Summons Suspended Directors.”

On the second day of the public hearing, after the testimonies by the suspended directors, the Nation Newspaper merely reported that “NEMA has complied with Procurement Act, says DG” while PRNigeria published two reports titled: “House of Rep Orders Recall of Suspended NEMA Directors” and another “House Uncovers Another N3.1bn Contract Scandal in NEMA, Maihaja Pays N400mn Demmurage on Chinese Rice”

Surprisingly, a day later the Nation published another exclusive report with a title: “Alleged N2.5bn fraud: EFCC invites 13 more top officers of NEMA,” while PRNigeria deliberately twisted the story with an appropriate attribution to the Nation with an alarming headline: “NEMA DG Maihaja Disobeys National Assembly… Sends Fresh list of staff to EFCC.”

The following day again, the Nation published two news stories: “Group uncovers attempt by indicted directors to scuttle EFCC investigation on NEMA” and “Osinbajo, House at war over N2.5b fraud.” The PRNigeria on the same day published an exclusive report citing an official letter from office of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and captioned the story: “N5bn NEMA Fraud: Petition Trails NEMA DG Maihaja on Monumental Corruption.”

While the nation reported the response of House Committee at a press briefing with an harmless but seeming ambiguous headline: “We Won’t Abandoned NEMA N23bn Fraud Probe- Rep,” PRNigeria was blunt and categorical with its screaming headline: “Maihaja Must Account for N22bn NEMA Allocation in One Year– Reps.”

At the hearing on April 19th, the Nation published a report with a title: “Suspension of NEMA directors, others in order, says HOS.”  The PRNigeria on the same day titled its report: “Lawmakers insist on reinstatement of NEMA officials.”

At the last public hearing on April 24, 2018, the Nation reported that: “N2.4b rice donated by Chinese govt intact, says NEMA DG,”  while PRNigeria published an exclusive report with a scandalous headline titled: “SCANDAL: How NEMA DG, Maihaja paid N400mn Demurrage for N414mn Chinese donated rice (Picture of Evidence).”

The varying viewpoints between various media phenomenon is always in existence but one needs to consider the integrity of the platform in believing its content. Online news platforms are becoming more domineering in the dispensation of news reporting as observers’ countdown to a no distant future when 95% of the world’s population will prefer reading news online.

It is necessary to state from the outset that, the traditional media observes a lot of process of authentication, verification and editorial approval before publication, Online media is speedy and timely with on the spot news delivery. While print media is reader friendly, the online media is viewer friendly.

While I am learning on the field of news reporting and investigative journalism, I discover that the two main masquerades behind the divergent storylines on NEMA are divided by their professional calling: a journalist and a Public Relations Person. They merely provide editorial contents from their strong perspectives.

________________________________

Gidado Yushau Shuaib is a Masters Graduate of Media Campaigning and Social Change at the University of Westminster London

The post appeared first on The Sun News.

NEMA Scandal: Analysing the Divergent Media Coverage, By Gidado Yushau Shuaib

Recent media reports indicate the growing uproar over financial scandals rocking the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) which led to

Recent media reports indicate the growing uproar over financial scandals rocking the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) which led to the suspension of some directors by the current Director General of the agency, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja.

As a reporter of an emerging news platform (News Digest) who follows and tracks stories of events as they unfold, I observe the divergent media coverage of the saga from two different perspectives, especially as being reported by the traditional (print) and online media.

With interest in investigative reporting, I am aware of the importance of primary and secondary sources for credible information. I therefore, rely on two major news distribution agencies in Nigeria, the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN), a government owned organisation and PRNigeria, an independent Press Release platform for mostly security outfits.

However, in analysing the media coverage of NEMA, I have noticed to my amazement that the news reports from traditional media seem to defend the positions of the Director General of the agency, while the online media are more concerned about addressing the plights of the staff, including those suspended.

For instance, when the staffs of NEMA embarked on the nationwide strike last year, most of the online media, reported the protest from the perspectives of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) and Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU) of NEMA Unit.

On the other hand, the traditional print media reported the efforts of the embattled NEMA boss, Mustapha Maihaja to sanitize the agency with his appeal to the National Assembly to pass the bill seeking to amend the act establishing the Agency.

With different reports on the protest, it is evident that the online media platforms provide timely, speedy, sometimes not fully edited reports on the saga, especially from the public hearing at the National Assembly. I realise too that the mainstream or the traditional media, delay their reports and sometimes provide different perspectives from the initial online reports. I also observe that journalists, especially in the print media, tend to engage in more in-depth research before publications in the limited spaces.

A further scrutiny indicates that two major media seem to be the arrowheads in reporting the NEMA scandal from different, if not opposing perspectives. The Nation Newspaper has a pattern in promoting the activities of the current management of NEMA under Maihaja, while PRNigeria Online News Release platform provides contrary views which protect the interest of the staff of the agency. For instance, it was the Nation that broke the news on the investigation of NEMA staff with a story captioned “EFCC indicts ex-NEMA DG, six directors for N2.5b ‘fraud’” and followed with another report the following day that “Alleged N2.5b fraud: NEMA board suspends six directors.”

After the report, the House of Representatives Committee on Disaster Management called for a continuation of a public hearing on abuse of trust by the DG NEMA which was widely covered with PRNigeria syndicating and publishing a story titled: “How NEMA Boss, Maihaja Blows N1.6bn Flood Victims Fund on Fake Firms… House Panel Summons Suspended Directors.”

On the second day of the public hearing, after the testimonies by the suspended directors, the Nation Newspaper merely reported that “NEMA has complied with Procurement Act, says DG” while PRNigeria published two reports titled: “House of Rep Orders Recall of Suspended NEMA Directors” and another “House Uncovers Another N3.1bn Contract Scandal in NEMA, Maihaja Pays N400mn Demmurage on Chinese Rice”

Surprisingly, a day later the Nation published another exclusive report with a title: “Alleged N2.5bn fraud: EFCC invites 13 more top officers of NEMA,” while PRNigeria deliberately twisted the story with an appropriate attribution to the Nation with an alarming headline: “NEMA DG Maihaja Disobeys National Assembly… Sends Fresh list of staff to EFCC.”

The following day again, the Nation published two news stories: “Group uncovers attempt by indicted directors to scuttle EFCC investigation on NEMA” and “Osinbajo, House at war over N2.5b fraud.” The PRNigeria on the same day published an exclusive report citing an official letter from office of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and captioned the story: “N5bn NEMA Fraud: Petition Trails NEMA DG Maihaja on Monumental Corruption.”

While the nation reported the response of House Committee at a press briefing with an harmless but seeming ambiguous headline: “We Won’t Abandoned NEMA N23bn Fraud Probe- Rep,” PRNigeria was blunt and categorical with its screaming headline: “Maihaja Must Account for N22bn NEMA Allocation in One Year– Reps.”

At the hearing on April 19th, the Nation published a report with a title: “Suspension of NEMA directors, others in order, says HOS.”  The PRNigeria on the same day titled its report: “Lawmakers insist on reinstatement of NEMA officials.”

At the last public hearing on April 24, 2018, the Nation reported that: “N2.4b rice donated by Chinese govt intact, says NEMA DG,”  while PRNigeria published an exclusive report with a scandalous headline titled: “SCANDAL: How NEMA DG, Maihaja paid N400mn Demurrage for N414mn Chinese donated rice (Picture of Evidence).”

The varying viewpoints between various media phenomenon is always in existence but one needs to consider the integrity of the platform in believing its content. Online news platforms are becoming more domineering in the dispensation of news reporting as observers’ countdown to a no distant future when 95% of the world’s population will prefer reading news online.

It is necessary to state from the outset that, the traditional media observes a lot of process of authentication, verification and editorial approval before publication, Online media is speedy and timely with on the spot news delivery. While print media is reader friendly, the online media is viewer friendly.

While I am learning on the field of news reporting and investigative journalism, I discover that the two main masquerades behind the divergent storylines on NEMA are divided by their professional calling: a journalist and a Public Relations Person. They merely provide editorial contents from their strong perspectives.

Gidado Yushau Shuaib

A Masters Graduate of Media Campaigning and Social Change

University of Westminster London

giddyshuaib@gmail.com

 

Nine Killed, Two Police Officers Injured In Borno Boko Haram Attack

Nine persons have been killed with two police officers injured in the Boko Haram attack on Jiddari Polo area of

Nine persons have been killed with two police officers injured in the Boko Haram attack on Jiddari Polo area of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

Troops of the Nigerian Army had on Thursday said they repelled an attack by Boko Haram terrorists in Maiduguri after the insurgents made their way through a cashew plantation to the Jiddari Polo area of the state capital before launching the attack around 6:00 p.m.

Officials of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) however confirmed to newsmen on Friday that nine people were killed in the attack.

NEMA North East coordinator, Bashir Garga, disclosed the figure after the agency conducted evacuation on the scene of the attack.

Five of the bodies recovered was that of suicide bombers while the four others are residents who fell victims of the attack. One of the victims was killed in the mosque while another reportedly died of shock.

The police, also in a statement on Friday said two police officers were injured in the attack. The police in the statement which was signed by the spokesperson, Damian Chukwu aid the terrorists shot sporadically at security agents and also detonated IEDs.

“The terrorist gunfire sporadically and detonating IEDs. We promptly deployed SARS/PMF/EOD to assist DPO and Army at the scene. Were repelled after the fierce gun battle with profuse tear smoke applicant.

“Two of our SARS personnel were injured in the battle,” the police statement read in part.

Several others victims injured are still in the hospital with bodies evacuated to Specialist Hospital and the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital,

NEMA DG, Admits Violating Establishment Law

The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Engineer Mustapha Maihaja, has admitted before the House of Representatives

The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Engineer Mustapha Maihaja, has admitted before the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness, which is investigating breach of public trust in the agency that the agency did not comply with the provisions of NEMA establishment Act which mandates it to liaise with its state counterparts during distribution of relief materials.
Speaking at the resumed sitting of the committee in the National Assembly, the DG made the admittance while responding to questions by lawmakers on the failure of the agency to distribute relief materials to the affected areas in the North East.
The hearing of the day was focused on the distribution of relief materials or lack of it, and the N8 billion Emergency Food Intervention Programme in the five states in the North East region:  Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Adamawa and Bauchi States.
It also took testimonies from the officials of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM),  National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)and the Corporate Affairs Commision(CAC) on the status of the companies that were awarded the contracts for the implementation of the emergency food intervention programme.
Representatives of governments of Gombe, Yobe, Bauchi and Taraba states had made testimonies before the committee where they disclosed that NEMA did not involve the state government or the state emergency agencies when the commenced the distribution of items. They also added that they could not ascertain whether the items were distributed by NEMA according to the claim of the DG because of their non-involvement in the whole arrangement.
All of the states except Bauchi State said they did not receive any letter from NEMA about the food distribution to internally displaced persons in their states, while Gombe state government was emphatic that there are no IDP camps in the state, and as such, it did not receive any relief materials from the agency.
The committee also unraveled a forged clearance certificate presented by Three Brothers Rice Mill Ltd. The representative of ITF at the hearing had informed the lawmakers that the clearance purportedly issued by ITF was not from his office as it bears a wrong address, signature and carries his name, though he was not the one who signed it.
Officials of the National Pension Commission (PENCOM),  National Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS)and the Corporate Affairs Commission(CAC), while making presentations on the companies (Three Brothers Rice Mill Nigeria Ltd and Olam Nigeria Ltd) engaged by NEMA to carry out the N8 billion Food Intervention Programme, informed the committee that they did not fully meet all the requirements for qualification for government contracts.
Responding, NEMA DG, Engr Mustapha said the exigency of the situation required the agency to make emergency procurements. He also faulted Yobe State statement that NEMA did not make any contact with the state on the distribution and presented a letter of communicated to the committee where the state acknowledged correspondence from them.
The contract awarded to Olam Nigeria Ltd for 2.4 billion naira and the 600million to 3 Brothers Rice Ltd for supply of rice for the emergency food intervention programme in the North East, he stated, was made at the presidential level and the contractors were selected because they had the capacity to deliver in the huge quantity that was needed.
Earlier, chairman of the committee, Hon. Ali Isa  J.C, warned against misrepresentation of the proceedings of the committee. He said some news reports were deliberately trying to mislead the public and create an impression that the National Assembly is at war with the vice president.
He said, “The House believes we are working with the executive, especially when it comes to fighting corruption and getting value for money. “
The chairman also declared that the House cannot be intimidated into suspending the investigation. He said they will not be distracted to shift focus from probing the N5.9 billion and N3.1 billion Emergency Food Intervention Programme, the N1.6 billion funds for 16 states flood relief and another N1.6 billion for Libya returnees.
The committee summoned the Central Bank of Nigeria, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Ministry of Agriculture and all companies involved in the procurement of the N5.1 emergency food in the North East.
It also directed NEMA DG to bring all communication, including minutes of meetings, related to the selection of the companies that got the contracts.

Fire Guts NEMA Warehouse In Lagos

A morning inferno has engulfed a National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) warehouse in Ikeja, Lagos, on Saturday. In unraveling the cause

A morning inferno has engulfed a National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) warehouse in Ikeja, Lagos, on Saturday.

In unraveling the cause of the incident, the Director of Lagos State Fire Service, Rasaki Musibau, said a high tension cable fell on the roof of the warehouse and caused the fire.

Musibau said the Service’s timely intervention prevented the fire from spreading to a nearby petrol filling station and other public buildings in the area.

“No casualties. We drew firemen from three stations to put out the fire. The firemen, officials of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency and police put out the fire,’’ he said

In the same vein, South-West zonal spokesman of the agency, Mr. Farinloye Ibrahim, confirmed the incident, saying the warehouse was used to keep relief materials.

“We don’t have many materials in the warehouse as at the time of the fire incident. We have few mattresses, foams and other few facilities. The fire started at 8:30 a.m.

“The damage was not much before the fire was put out. We cannot estimate as at now the cost of the materials burnt,” Ibrahim said.

NEMA: Suspension Of Directors, Staff By Osinbajo Board In Order, Says Head Of Service

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita yesterday said the suspension of six directors by

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita yesterday said the suspension of six directors by the Board of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, was in order.

Also, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu said the agency recommended the suspension of the affected officers in order to allow detectives unfettered access to vital documents.

The two officers made the clarifications while appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster preparedness investigating the activities of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

Those placed on suspension are the Director of Finance and Accounts, Akinbola Hakeem Gbolahan; Ag. Director, Special Duties, Mr. Umesi Emenike;  Director, Risk Reduction, Mallam Alhassan Nuhu; Pilot in-charge Air Ambulance and Aviation Unit, Mr. Mamman Ali Ibrahim; the Chief Maintenance Officer, Mr. Ganiyu Yunusa Deji; and the Director of Welfare, Mr. Kanar Mohammed.

The EFCC had in a report to the Presidency recommended the disciplinary measure in order to enable it to conduct unhindered investigation and have access to vital records.

But Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita yesterday  said 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 .

She also said the Governing Council has the powers to suspend the directors and other staff of the agency if the situation warranted .

The committee had invited the Head of Service to guide it on the procedure for suspending staff of the Agency and to ascertain if the Governing Council had the powers to suspend the six staff of the agency.

Represented  by Mustapha Suleiman , a Permanent Secretary, the Head of Service enlightened members on the disciplinary processes in the Public Service Rules

The Head of Service said: ” Under Section 4 serious misconduct is specify as serious wrongdoing and improper behaviour  which is inimical to the image of the Service, which if investigated and proven can lead to dismissal from service.”

“The list is contained in sections 03, 04, 02 which he said includes falsification of records, suppression of records, conviction of a criminal charge, bribery, corruption, misappropriation, embezzlement and sabotage etc.

“The indicted officer would cease to be on his/ her duty and the suspension can come from the Civil Service Commission, Head of Service or the Governing Council.

Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee  said the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo hadwritten to say because of his busy schedule, the Secretary of the Governing Council, who is also the DG of NEMA or members of the Council present at the hearing would answer questions meant for him.

The Committee turned to the NEMA DG to show them any law that gives the Council the Power to suspend the Directors and other staff of the Agency.

The Director- General reads: ” By the provision of the Act, the relevant section of the NEMA Act that allows the Governing Council to superintend the affairs of the Agency is Section 7(10).

” The Council shall have the power to (a) manage and superintend the affairs of the Agency .

(b) subject to the provisions of this Act….and function of the agency

(c) for the term and condition of service including remuneration of the employees of the Agency after consultation with the Federal Civil Service Commission, and do such other things which in the opinion of the Agency are necessary to ensure the efficient performance of the functions of the Agency.

“At no time were they  dismissed from the agency.”

The Acting  Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC ), Ibrahim Magu confirmed that the recommendation for the suspension of the said officers was given by the Commission in its interim report of its investigation.

“We received a petition in December 2017 and we went into the investigation proper.

“At a level, an interim position was provided and that those whose evidence of wrong doing has been established to be suspended in order not to hinder the investigation”.

He pleaded that the committee allow him to provide the requested  documentary evidence requested later.
In reaction to Committee’s question on  whether or not  members of the council were in agreement with the position of the position canvassed by the FG, Olusegun Adekunle, a Permanent Secretary in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) affirmed that the decision was made by the council.

“What has happened is a criminal investigation conducted by the  EFCC and the preliminary report was for us to take a decision.

“I agreed with reason as canvased on how suspension should be done, if their continued stay in office will hinder investigation,” he said.

Yobe Did Not Receive Any Relief Materials From NEMA- Gov Gaidam

The government of Yobe State has informed the House of Representatives that it has not received any relief items from

The government of Yobe State has informed the House of Representatives that it has not received any relief items from the  National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) since the current director general Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja took over, Governor Ibrahim Gaidam has said.

Speaking at the continuation of the investigative hearing by the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency Disaster Preparedness on Thursday, Governor Gaidam who was represented by the State Commissioner of Education Alhaji Ibrahim Lamin, said the only donations received by Yobe State  came from private organisations even though the state is one of the worst hit by years of insurgency.

Alhaji Mohammed Lamin was accompanied by the commissioner of Justice and the permanent secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency.

“Yobe has not received any correspondent or relief material from the NEMA since the assumption of the current director general,” he stated.
The director general, Engr. Mustapha Yunusa Maihaja, however, said that relief items were moved and distributed but couldn’t say who were the beneficiaries, who took delivery and could not provide documents validating his claim.

The committee, thereafter, directed the DG to furnish it with detailed information on who received the items, where and when during its next sitting on Tuesday next week.

In a related issue, after due consideration of submissions made by the representatives of Head of Service and the EFCC, the lawmakers have again directed the DG to lift the suspension of the six members of staff of NEMA, based on the fact that the suspended persons were not given fair hearing before action was taken against them, a breach of their rights to be presumed innocent before proven guilty.
They also added that the provision of the Constitution is superior to any other subsidiary law, meaning that the Civil Service Rules is not the final authority when it comes to rights of Nigerians.

Exclusive: How Suspended Staff Made Away With Billions Of NEMA Funds – FG Source

As the controversy trailing the suspension of seven staff of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) by the agency’s governing

As the controversy trailing the suspension of seven staff of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) by the agency’s governing board continues to generate varied reactions, details of how the indicted officials misappropriated sums totaling over a billion naira, about $284,000 and £95,000, are emerging.

Indeed top government sources disclosed last night that the suspended officers had hurriedly and illegally taken the matter to the House of Representatives in a pre-emptive move designed to stonewall the ongoing EFCC investigations in the hope that they could possibly cover up their misdeeds.

But an authoritative report on the matter submitted to the Presidency over the matter by agencies involved in the investigations and activities of the suspended directors point to ” clear cases of abuse of office, graft and collusion on the part of the NEMA directors.

This is in direct contradiction to the impressions of innocence created last week regarding the 7 suspended staff of the agency by the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness.

Said an informed source in the case  “the indicted officials indeed have genuine cases to answer, actually some of the officers have made confessional statements, while others could simply not explain the money and properties already traced to them.”

The source added: “Based on the facts contained in the report, their claim of innocence cannot be substantiated and the presumed understanding they are getting from the House of Representatives is indeed a true reflection of the current state of affairs in Nigeria, where the most corrupt often seek to cover their misdeed by pointing accusing fingers at others.”

Details of the report revealed that the affected persons, in league with the former Director General of NEMA may have formed an alliance with certain already identified House Committee members and illegally procured and stole various papers from NEMA files in their bid to exonerate themselves and challenge their suspension, claiming they were innocent whistleblowers being victimized by the board.

While the impression at the House last week presents the indicted officials as victims of circumstance, “the reality is rather different and there is evidence now accruing to government that the action of the some in the House may be an attempt to protect the suspended directors in an unwholesome deal, which is already causing ripples even in the National Assembly.”

A query being raised in the Presidency is about the need for some in the House to be involved in what is certainly an illegal removal of official documents through the staff and their acceptance by some in the House, when the House had  “the constitutional powers to access the document but resort otherwise.”

The report submitted to the Presidency shows the enormity of the crimes committed by the officials which comprised misappropriation of public funds, frivolous claims of personal emoluments and conspiracy with the other officials to short-change the Federal Government of due revenues, among others.

Regarding the former NEMA DG, Mr. Sani Sidi, for instance, it was indicated that he maintained 20 different accounts in various banks, despite his public servant status.  “EFCC found suspicious deposits amounting to 164,000 US Dollars in his domiciliary account at Standard Chartered Bank alone, all within 18 months, i.e., between January 2014 and June 2015.

This almost averages out at $10,000 per month. At the same time, he had up to £58,000 in his Pound Sterling Account. He faces allegations of misappropriation of public funds, frivolous claims of personal emoluments and conspiracy with the other officials to short-change the Federal Government of due revenues.

Also indicted and suspended is the Director of Finance and Accounts, Akinbola Hakeem Gbolahan who also maintains many bank accounts with questionable transactions. EFCC, the report indicated, has noted in particular his account in GTBank where suspicious deposits were found, totaling N27, 650,000 which is, in addition, the over £37,000 and $120,000 found in his domiciliary accounts, and his Naira account which has several suspicious deposits in excess of N50 million, much of which flowed directly from NEMA.

For the Ag. Director of Special Duties, Mr Umesi Emenike, findings from the report revealed that funds meant for programmes and maintenance of the South-South Zone operations of NEMA under his supervision were paid directly into his personal accounts (14 of them have been discovered by EFCC in various banks), instead of the Zonal Office Account.

And he was found to have withdrawn freely in cash, by electronic transfers or through ATM Machines, without any evidence of the money being used for NEMA activities.

Also according to the report, his subordinate, the Zonal Accountant, also made several cash lodgements into the personal account of Mr. Emenike. About N238, 000,000 has so far been traced from NEMA directly to Mr. Emenike’s personal accounts which were placed in fixed deposits and used freely by the Ag. Director.

The report also revealed that the Director of Risk Reduction, Mr Alhassan Nuhu, also maintained 5 bank accounts which were apparently used as conduits to receive and distribute money from NEMA coffers.

According to the report, so far, Mr. Nuhu has not been able to give satisfactory account of the transactions, including NEMA Funds moving through him to a company called Dambo Farms Limited.

The case of the Pilot in charge of NEMA’s Air Ambulance is especially interesting. His name is Mamman Ali Ibrahim. On his own, he commercialized both the NEMA Air Ambulance and Helicopter. The report further indicates that EFCC traced at least N285 million to him, of which only N63 million was paid to the Accountant General’s Office and another N11 million was paid to NEMA, but the rest cannot be accounted for.

According to the report, some of the money was however channeled to his family members through his company, Aerocare West Africa Limited, while others in foreign exchange were directly traced to the former DG’s accounts.

The report also indicted the Chief Maintenance Officer; Mr. Ganiyu Yunusa Deji who was in charge of fuel supplies to NEMA Generators and was found to have been receiving regular returns into his personal account from the supplier, Rekimat Global Resource Limited. It was also noted in the report that since Mr. Ganiyu Yunusa was suspended, the fuel that used to last for one week now lasts for more than a month.

There is also the case of M. Kanar Mohammed, the Director of Welfare. His six bank accounts were found to be replete with NEMA funds, including a N214 million meant for displaced traditional rulers in the North East, N184 million paid by him to one Crystal Chambers and N29.5 million paid by him to a former Minister, Abdul Bulama.

The report, however, indicated that all the indicted officers are still under investigation mainly by EFCC and their suspension was obviously to ensure they don’t remain in office to tamper with evidence in the process of due investigation.

It is therefore expected that the final report of investigation will soon be ready, following which the 7 NEMA suspended directors will face “for sure criminal prosecution.”