The Coalition for Good Governance, CGG, has accused the House of Representatives under the leadership of Speaker Yakubu Dogara of embarking on a “vindictive mission” against President Muhammadu Buhari.
CGG’s Executive Director, Mrs. Jaiyeole Mohammed, made the claim while stressing that the House of Representatives was embarking on its sinister agenda by “nailing” Buhari’s appointees.
The group stated this while condemning the ongoing probe of the Director General (DG) of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Engr. Mustapha Maihaja by the lower Legislative Chambers.
Recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had accused Maihaja of corrupt practices.
EFCC had accused the NEMA boss of alleged conspiracy to siphon funds, abuse of office, misappropriation and diversion of public funds belonging to the agency.
Against this backdrop, the House of Representatives had set up an ad hoc Committee Chaired by Hon. Ali Isa to investigate the alleged fraud.
Reacting to the committee’s approach to the matter, CGG’s DG said the House of Representatives investigation was a “diversionary persecution” of Maihaja.
Addressing journalists, yesterday in Abuja, Mohammed said, “We wish to express our infinite displeasure with the endless, sordid and diversionary persecution of the Director- General,(DG) National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Engr. Mustapha Maihaja by the House of Representatives’ Speaker, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, through a proxy, the ad hoc House Committee chaired by Hon. Ali Isa.
“Let’s briefly recap the narrative of what we consider as the malicious House of representatives’ probe, which is not only diversionary, but designed and cleverly crafted as persecution of the NEMA boss, Engr. Maihaja by the leadership of the House of Representatives led by Speaker Dogara.
“You would recall that months back Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had uncovered sublime acts of corruption in the management of funds accruing to NEMA by the immediate past leadership of the agency, led by Mr. Sani Sidi Mohammed. At least, the EFCC fingered the former NEMA DG and of six his directors, who allegedly connived to dubiously siphon NEMA’s funds to the whooping sum of N2.5 billion.
“In an official mail to the Governing Board of NEMA statutorily chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the anti-graft agency requested for the suspension of the tentatively indicted directors. The action became imperative to pave way for a free, interrupted, uninfluenced and conclusive investigation to enable the agency proffer charges against them in court.
“The NEMA Governing Board met, deliberated on the EFCC’s request and approved the suspension of the indicted directors to allow justice run its course. To our greatest surprise, the suspended directors petitioned the House of Reps, which ruled that suspended directors be immediately reinstated. And the current NEMA boss, Engr. Maihaja complied by reinstating the suspended directors.
“But shockingly and curiously, the House of Representatives proceeded to raise the Hon. Ali Isa ad hoc committee to probe funds accruing to the agency under the tenure of the current NEMA boss, Engr. Maihaja.
“The House committee conveniently ignored the subsisting case of fraud, which the EFCC had tentatively established against the former NEMA DG and the directors. It has devoted all its energy and wisdom in probing the tenure of Engr. Maihaja, while the indicted, suspended, but reinstated directors by the order of the House of Reps are still in custody of files containing critical documents that would aid EFCC investigation into the fraud.
“The twist is why would the House of Representatives take over a case being handled by the EFCC, the agency lawfully vested with the powers to prosecute persons involved in financial crimes? Equally disturbing is why the House committee has overlooked or abandoned a glaring case to concentrate its probe on the vague case against the NEMA boss? what is the motivation that has informed this suspect decision?
“Therefore, we feel it is nothing rather than to execute its vindictive mission against President Muhammedu Buhari, by nailing his appointees. So, in the pursuit of this agenda, the House Committee has cooked up frivolous allegations against the current NEMA boss, Engr. Maihaja, claiming he abused due process in some contracts awarded by the agency, running into billions of naira.
“The probe by the House Committee on the NEMA boss has continued, but unfortunately, it has found nothing concrete or incriminating to nail the current NEMA boss. But overtly and in the suspected plot of vendetta against President Buhari and his appointees, orchestrated by Speaker Dogara, the House committee probe has continued to bark meaninglessly.
“We wish to draw the attention of the public to the fact that House of Representatives led by Speaker Dogara is pursuing a personal and narrow interest in the guise of the probe of the present NEMA boss.
“Unfortunately though, the House Committee has turned unbearable heat and pressure on the current NEMA DG, Engr. Maihaja to the extent of threatening to arrest the DG, who on two occasions, could not honour the committee’s invitations, because of pressing official engagements, but deemed it necessary to send representatives while he was on official visit to Benue and other states.
“We make bold to say, the conduct of the Hon. Isa led House Committee is partial, vindictive, dishonest, selective and malicious. We need no soothsayer to know that we are in very serious trouble as far as these self-seeking and egocentric leaders of the House are concerned.
“Flowing from this standpoint, we therefore reject in totality any invitation of NEMA’s DG by the House Committee or any appointee of the Buhari administration, until it advertises itself as ready to invite and interrogate those really culpable in the NEMA fraud scandal.
“The reputational crisis these selfish characters in the House of Representatives intend to create and nurture to tarnish the image of the Buhari Presidency would no longer be tolerated or accepted by the coalition. The blackmail and persecution of Buhari’s appointees in order to rubbish or stain the integrity of the President must stop now.”