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Party seeks probe of alleged N165b theft in NPA

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SERAP wants Buhari to investigate N39.5b ‘duplicated’ projects in MDAs

The Action Democratic Party (ADP) has called for a full-scale investigation into the alleged theft of over N165 billion from the coffers of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) between 2016 and 2020.

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It also opposed the appointment of Muhammed Koko in acting capacity to oversee the oganisation, alleging compromise.

ADP’s national chairman, Yabagi Sani, argued that Koko’s appointment was in “clear contravention of standard administrative procedures by which the most senior officer in charge of administration or operations and not finance, is the one to be appointed in acting position in the event of a vacancy in the office of the chief executive.”

The party justified its position based on Koko’s reported intimate relationship with the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, way back to his days as speaker and governor of Rivers State.

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ADP noted: “Our party vehemently objects to the ‘administrative panel’ presently entrusted with the task because, in our view, that would be tantamount to asking Rotimi Amaechi to sit in judgment over his own case.

“Second, in order to make for a credible probe, we are of the strong view that on the grounds of his moral baggage and administrative anomalies in his appointment, the NPA’s Acting Managing Director, Koko, is too clearly compromised and stained and must therefore be replaced to enhance equity and transparency in the dispensation of justice.”

It continued: “The ADP is advocating that while the scope of investigation of the allegation of the N165 billion should be widened to cover the entire finances of the NPA from 2015 to date, a similar exercise should be conducted into the books of the other ‘lucrative’ agencies and departments where humongous sums have been obviously diverted or siphoned into private coffers.

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IN a similar vein, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as well as members of the National Assembly suspected to be responsible for the alleged insertion of N39.5 billion for “316 duplicated and mysterious projects in the 2021 budget.”

In a letter dated May 8,2021 and issued by its deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the group stated: “Any such investigation should establish whether public funds have been mismanaged, diverted or stolen in the guise of implementing the duplicated and mysterious projects. Anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any stolen public funds should be fully recovered.”

SERAP maintained that the “misallocation of public funds for duplicated and mysterious projects has seriously undermined the ability of the indicted MDAs and the government to ensure respect for human rights through developing and implementing well-thought-out policies, plans and budgets.”

The correspondence was copied to Malami, Chairman of Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa and Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.

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