HURIWA calls for arrests over alleged N206b budget padding
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to arrest or invite for interrogation the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, over the alleged insertion of N206,242,395,000 into the 2023 budget of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management.
HURIWA also cautioned the anti-graft body to avoid naming serving government officials as EFCC ambassadors, since the agency is not a chieftaincy institution but a serious government establishment, set up to wage war against the economy.
National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, in a statement, rejected the explanation of the finance ministry that the bogus amount was wrongly captured in the budget estimates submitted to the National Assembly, just as it insisted that those in charge must be arrested and made to give proper statements under oath.
HURIWA said a recent announcement purporting to name Executive Vice Chairman of the National Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, as EFCC Ambassador is inappropriate, and would suggest that the holder has become a sacred cow.
The statement alleged: “Corruption in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet is mindboggling and the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission are overlooking these spectacular crimes. This, sadly, is the greatest cause of insecurity because a corrupt government is even a threat to national security.
“HURIWA demands actions by way of arrests and prosecution of officials who padded the budget because they are economic saboteurs. Anything short of this is aiding and abetting corruption.”