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Saturday, April 1, 2023

ADP Seeks Thorough Investigation into NPA’s N165 billion Saga Involving Hadiza Bala Usman 

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The Action Democratic Party ADP has called for a thorough investigation into the N165 billion in the Nigeria ports Authority which led to the suspension of the managing director Mrs. Hadiza Bala Usman.
According to the ADP, the suspension was a strategy by the Buhari led government to hoodwink Nigerians that the government is fighting corruption.
This is coming as reactions continue to trail the suspension of the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), over the alleged unremitted N165 billion in the Federation Account.
The party said APC’s campaign in 2019 was illegally funded by NPA under Hadiza Bala Usman. In a statement signed by the National Chairman of the party, Engr Yabagi Sani which was sent to our correspondent on Sunday said, plans were afoot to again fund APC’s 2023 general election before the calamity befell the embattled MD of NPA.
“The ADP is also very much aware of her use of the NPA as a major source of illegal funds used in the APC campaign and rigging of the 2019 general elections.
“That is just as our party is also abreast with the plot being hatched by certain APC gladiators to again use her and the agency as their source of funds in the 2023 elections.
“The revelation last week that the NPA under Miss Hadiza Bala Usman, failed to remit a sum of over 165 billion naira to the federation account between 2016 and 2020 and her resultant apparent indictment and actual suspension, didn’t come as a surprise to informed Nigerians.
“It has been an open secret that all the while, that the NPA and a number of agencies classified as, ” lucrative”, are cesspools of corruption and cash cows from which officials milk the nation dry with breathtaking recklessness.
“In the unfolding case of the NPA scam or, “Hadizagate” as it may turn out to be, the ADP is calling on Nigerians not to allow this to be swept under the carpet or lost in obfuscating abracadabra, in the usual style of this administration.
“Let us insist on a full-scale investigation by a credible team of investigators instead of the dubious sham of a panel of cronies empaneled by persons already being mentioned as potential accomplices in the scam.
The party further faulted the probe panel, saying that such fraud couldn’t have been perpetrated without the Director of Account’s involvement, noting that Muhammed Koko should also be investigated.
“Is it not a hoax and an assault on our collective intelligence that they expect us to believe in the credibility of a panel under a Director supported by other lower ranked officers in the Ministry of Transport under the supervision of Mr Rotimi Amaechi as the Minister?;the party asked.
“Further, in carrying out its assignment, the Amaechi’s so-called investigative panel obviously cannot but rely on documents obtained from the NPA which is now under the supervision of a Muhammed Koko who before now, has strategically worked all along with Hadiza Bala Usman as the Executive Director of Finance and Accounts at the agency.
“Could it have been possible for miss Bala-Usman to have all alone, committed such a monumental act of financial misconduct or, malfeasance without the input or knowledge of Muhammed Koko?
“Also, why the appointment of Mr Koko as the Acting MD of NPA 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 answer to the above puzzles may be found in the widely reported intimate relationship between Mr Koko and Mr Rotimi Amaechi way back to the latter’s tenures as Speaker and Governor in Rivers state which is said to have culminated in the appointment of the former Banker as Executive Director of Finance and Accounts at the NPA on the emergence of Amaechi as Minister of Transportation in 2015.
“To set the records straight, the ADP wishes to make it clear that it does not have a tinge of sympathy for Miss Hadiza Usman over her ordeal. If anything, our party sees her as steaming in her own stew having been one of the architects of the political contraption, the APC whose governance has led to unprecedented economic retardation, poverty, and ravaging insecurity in the last harrowing six years.
According to him while the Action Democratic Party is in no way taking sides, the party is of the position that there is much more to the unfolding show of shame at the NPA beyond the picture being portrayed in the public domain.
The party said it believes that some of the actors are not as altruistic as they are making the public to believe.
“For a start that the cordiality between Mr Amaechi and Miss Bala-Usman wrought as political bedfellows and soulmates in the Buhari Campaign Council in 2014/2015, broke down due to Bala-Usman’s alleged obstinacy and jettisoning refusal of Amaechi’s several plots of using the NPA as a bottomless treasure trove in the advancement of his financial and political interests.
“A number of credible news outlets have also explained the latest mind bungling scam at the NPA as a result of the umbrage of some top functionaries of the APC federal government over the reluctance the NPA’s management to “play along” in a plot to fleece the nation of millions of Dollars through a phony contract for the supply and installation of “cargo tracking devices” at the seaports.
“One of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministers along with the top leadership of the Senate and of course, his Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi were alleged to be the triumvirate behind the shady deal.
“In the light of the foregone, the Action Democratic Party is, firstly, reiterating its demand for a thorough, transparent and full-scale investigation into the allegation of over 165 billion naira allegedly unremitted by the NPA between 2016 and 2020.
“Our party vehemently objects to the “Administrative panel” presently entrusted with the task because, in our view, that will tantamount to asking Rotimi Amaechi to sit in judgement over his own case.
“Secondly, in order to make for a credible probe, the ADP is of the strong view that on the grounds of his moral baggage and administrative anomalies in his appointment, the NPA Acting Managing Director, Muhammed Koko is too clearly compromised and stained and must therefore be replaced to enhance equity and transparency in the dispensation of justice.
“The ADP is advocating that while the scope of investigation of the allegation of the 165 billion naira 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 of funds have been obviously diverted or siphoned into private coffers.
“The ADP believes that will be a more effective panacea to the pulsating economy than the resort to reducing the salaries of the nation’s workforce as being suggested by some insensitive and coldblooded government functionaries.
“As it is, the above observations and recommendations cannot see the light of day, for as long as the man at the helm of affairs of the country decides to be mute and aloof even when national exigencies demand otherwise.
“In spite of this known tendency, the Action Democratic Party is hereby once again stridently calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to come out of the cozy cocoon of the Villa and demonstrate leadership.
“This is one yet such momentous reason for the President to prove he has not abdicated his solemnly sworn covenant with the electorate. It is another auspicious time for our leader to let the citizens appreciate that he is indeed there, awake and in charge as the pilot of the ship of our nation.
“If he must be told the truth, it is time President Buhari realized that those to whom he has entrusted or bequeathed the burden of leadership have simply been running their own show by feathering their own nests.
“It is amazing that a President who wishes to leave a legacy of a crusader against corruption should appear so complacent and comfortable with a swarm of brazen, unabashed kleptomaniacs”, the statement reads.
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