The Presidency Thursday said the fund mismanagement allegation raised against Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was aimed at tarnishing his image and paralysing the President Muhammadu-led administration.
Presidential Political Adviser, Babafemi Ojodu, in a statement, said “there is nowhere in the House of Representatives Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness report where there is an allegation of corruption against the vice president.”
He said claims against him from some quarters regarding the report were mere political contrivances intended to distract him.
“It is evident that the opposition is in search of a company for their acts of grand corruption, which brought Nigeria to its knees as of May 2015. They cannot find that company in the vice president.
“First, there is nowhere in the politicised House of Representatives’ report where the vice president was accused of corruption or embezzlement of funds. I challenge them to quote any word or sentence that makes such an accusation.
“It is now evident through the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) report, that the opposition is indeed making frantic efforts to tarnish the image of the vice president,” Ojodu said.
He explained further that even after the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee, Hon. Ali Isa, had admitted that the vice president was not mentioned in the report, the opposition still found it expedient to continue to attack the reputation of Osinbajo.
“Even the House committee chairman has said there was no allegation of corruption against him. The only allegation is that he approved funds for the emergency operations in the North-east from the Consolidated Revenue Fund not budgeted funds. This conclusion we have proved to be false. The funds approved were from budgeted funds, specifically the rice levy.
“Let us remember that the approval granted by Osinbajo was in response to the threat of hunger and starvation based on information received from the United Nation World Food Programme in April, 2017.
“The organisation had issued a warning that it would be reducing its vital support to about 1.8 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) by as much as 85 per cent, due to the corresponding reduction in funding by the donor countries. Around the same time, the United Nations Commission for Refugees in Geneva also warned of the growing risk of mass deaths from starvation among people living in the conflict areas.”
“Besides, it is also important to note that the procurement process was not ignored in the release of funds, as alleged. 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,” he explained.
Senator Ojudu however promised that the administration would not be distracted and would continue to cater for Nigeria.