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Why VP Osinbajo’s approval of North East Emergency Fund is legal, Constitutional by Akinloye James

Prof Yemi Osinbajo is an integrity and dignity personified vice president that has constantly been talking about the grand and massive corruption that occurred in the previous administration before the emergence of the Buhari Government.

His clamour for exposing these corrupt entities in the previous administration is topnotch hence, the malicious attempt to tarnish his image and the series of attacks against his person and office; a plot I learnt was concocted by the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party and his cohorts.

Contrary to the false accusations made by Femi fani-kayode on his Facebook page alleging that the Vice President was indicted by the House of Representatives for the misappropriation of 5.8bn NEMA fund, The House of Representatives said it did not indict the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in its probe report on the National Emergency Management Agency as reported in some quarters of media.

Chairman House Committee on NEMA and Disaster Preparedness Representatives, Isah J.C made the clarification while raising a matter of privilege on Tuesday at plenary.

Recall that Femi fani-kayode as described by Emmanuel Uchenna Ugwu is a nagging community irritant that has an extensive career in public nuisance.

That proposition emerged from a consensus acceptance that Femi fani-kayode displays the capricious behavioural pattern of a voracious substance abuser because his convulsive agitations rise and fall on the crests of depression and exhilaration.

Although,the HOR earlier stated in their report alleging that a sum of N5,865,671,939.26 was approved and released in June 2017 via a Memo raised from the Office of the Acting President, directing the Honourable Minister of Finance and the Accountant General of the Federation to so act.

The House Committee also concluded that the payment made was in contravention of approval of the National Assembly.

This conclusion is both false and misleading.

It is important to understand the context of the transaction. This was at a time when internally displaced persons and their host communities faced very severe food shortages throughout the North East, as a result of successive poor harvests and abandoned farmlands, minimal cross-border cash crop trade and lost economic opportunities.

There was an immediate need to distribute grains, including rice, maize, soya beans and sorghum, to Internally Displaced Persons through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The only way to obtain the quantity of grains required was to resort to the National Food Security Progamme (NFSP) earlier established by the Federal Government as a means of shoring up its strategic grain reserves.

It was in consequence of the Federal Government decision to urgently purchase the stored grains for distribution to Internally Displaced Persons that the CBN made the proposal for approval of 30,905.08 Metric Tonnes at N5,229,685,333.26. Of that amount, the then Acting President eventually approved N5,036,644,933.26, after excluding bagging costs.

This was pursuant to the recommendation that bagging, transportation and other logistics were best handled by NEMA.

NEMA also originated a request to the Acting President, dated May 25, 2017, requesting the sum of N829,026,456.00 for general logistics, branding & packaging, tracking, security, personnel, media & publicity and contingency costs of taking the grains from their respective locations in Kano, Kaduna, Funtua, Ibadan and Gombe to Adamawa, Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Jigawa States.

These presidential approvals were well within the clear constitutional authority of the Acting President, who needed to take emergency steps to forestall acute food shortages in the affected States and there was nothing illegal or unconstitutional about them.

The approvals were duly communicated by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor of Central Bank, Director General of NEMA and the Minister of Finance for implementation.

On account of the emergency nature of the procurement, the House Committee’s assumption that the ordinary rules of procurement would apply was wrong.

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.

It is crystal clear that there is no violation in approval of N5.8B emergency food Intervention Fund for North-East and one could easily deduce that Femi Fani-kayode’s allegations is devoid of authenticity bearing in mind that he’s bounded by obsessive rabidity.

Akinloye James is from the Initiative to Save Democracy Group

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Tunde Alade

Tunde is a political Enthusiast who loves using technology to impact his immediate community by providing accurate data and news items for the good of the country.

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