The minority caucus in the House of Representatives has called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC), to immediately investigate the suspended Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, over alleged looting of revenue under her management.
The caucus, in a statement issued on Monday by the Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, said the All-Progressives Congress (APC), the administration had crippled the nation’s economy and brought untold hardships to Nigerians.
The statement was titled “NPA Looting: Reps Minority Caucus Asks EFCC to Investigate Hadiza.”
They insisted that such huge economic crime against the nation should not be left to an administrative panel of enquiry, but committed to an anti-graft agency for an independent investigation.
It, therefore, asked the EFCC to immediately “take in the indicted Managing Director, Hadiza, and commence a system-wide investigation with a view to prosecuting her, if found wanting”.
“Our Caucus holds that the mere suspension of the indicted Hadiza, and the resort to an administrative panel of enquiry even after the report by the Supervising Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, exposed an unremitted and possibly diverted operating surplus of N165 billion, amounts romancing and perfuming corruption by the APC-led Federal Government.
“The Minority Caucus also believes that the recourse to an administrative instead of a full-scale criminal investigation can only serve as a decoy to shield some other APC government officials involved in the looting spree at NPA and other affiliated agencies in the transport sector,” the statement read in part.
The lawmakers expressed concerns that by committing the alleged NPA looting to an administrative panel, political manipulations and partisan influences had taken precedence over what should have been a system-wide investigation into a monumental fraud.
“This is because, apart from the unremitted N165 billion cited by the Minister, other documents and reports from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation had also uncovered several sleazes, including unremitted deduction to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) amounting to N3,667,750,470. $148,845,745.04, Euro 4,891,449.50 and £252,682.14.
“This is in addition to audit query of N15.18 billion allegedly stolen through inflated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects/programmes under the watch of the suspended NPA Managing Director.
“As representatives of the suffering people of Nigeria, our Caucus is particularly very worried that such monumental lootings are going on at a time terrorists, bandits, unknown gunmen, and criminal militias are reigning supreme across the length and breadth of the country and life has consequently become the cheapest article in the country,” the lawmakers said.
They added that such resources if channelled to the security sector and well managed would have made a world of difference in addressing the problem of insecurity in the country.