2018/11/14

Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo Entangled In N5.8 Billion Fraud Allegations

The lawmakers explained that no procurement was done across the states despite the release of N5.8 billion to cater for the internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Nigeria’s Vice President is facing a constitutional battle with the parliament over the approval of N5.8 billion emergency food intervention fund.
The parliament says withdrawal contravenes the parliament’s power of approval.
Vice President explains that the country’s Procurement Act permit withdrawal during an emergency period.
Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo is enmeshed in a constitutional battle with the parliament over the approval of N5.8 billion emergency food intervention fund.
Osinbajo, who also doubles as the chairman of the governing board of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, approved the sum of N5.8 billion for the quick intervention of severe food shortages throughout the North East in June 2017.
The approval, the House of Representatives, says contravenes the parliament’s power of approval as the amount was deducted from the country’s Eurobond.
The House of Representatives in its report indicted the governing board of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo over “illegal approval of N5.8 billion north-east intervention fund.”
The Nigerian lawmakers also called for the sack of Mustapha Maihaja, the director-general of the emergency agency over alleged fraud and irregularities.
The lawmakers explained that no procurement was done across the states despite the release of N5.8 billion to cater for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) across the troubled north-east region.
“There was no procurement, there was no due process, no contract, yet the money was released and spent,”
Ali Isa (Gombe), Chairman of the ad-hoc committee investigating the matter said.
The Vice President’s office describes the allegation as false and misleading.
Business Insider SSA could not independently verify if the procurement was actually done as at the time of filing this report.
Prof. Osinbajo says the approval is within his constitutional authority as he needed to take emergency steps to forestall acute food shortages in the affected states.
Laolu Akande, spokesman of the vice-president, in a statement, argued that 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 (BPE).
A loophole in constitutional provisions, matter for judicial interpretation just as the constitution requests a legislative authority for the removal fund from the Consolidated Revenue Fund account, the Public Procurement Act gives power to procuring entities to act outside the framework in the case of an emergency and thereafter document a proper process before the Bureau of Public Procurement.
The court system should be able to interpret legal or illegality in the vice president-led NEMA board action.