The Bukola Saraki-led Senate, has revealed that it will set up an Ad-hoc Committee, on resumption from its one week recess, to probe the alleged mismanagement of N33 billion, currently rocking the Presidential Intervention Programme for the North-East, which involves the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
The Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, revealed that the Upper Legislative Chamber would commence the probe, as soon as the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee concludes its own investigation.
Already, the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee, probing the alleged scam, has said that Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Programme, and the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Mustapha Maihaja, were culpable.
The Chairman of the Reps. Panel, Mr. Ali Isa, had earlier told Journalists, that Osinbajo, as Chairman of the Programme, issued directives leading to the release of the funds, while the NEMA DG supervised the execution of the directives.
The Reps Panel also specifically indicted Osinbajo, for allegedly approving N5.8 billion North-East Intervention Fund, which it claimed was illegal.
Although, Osinbajo had dismissed the allegation, stating that, the government was obliged to make an emergency response to the humanitarian crisis in the geopolitical zone.
Murray-Bruce disclosed that the Senate would carry out an independent investigation into the issue, considering the weight of the allegations.
Murray-Bruce said: “It is very likely that the Senate will institute a probe into the issue, but you will get the details on Tuesday. We will allow the Reps. Committee to finish its probe, before we start our own.
“The allegations against those in charge of the programme (Osinbajo and Maihaja), are very serious, and we will not allow it to go like that. We will take the decision on Tuesday.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has urged the Vice President to seek forgiveness, over the alleged intervention fund scandal, even as it asked the Vice President to make a refund to the government.
The National Publicity Secretary, PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Saturday night, stressed that the alleged indictment of Osinbajo in the matter, by the House of Representatives was sad, given the VP’s perceived transparent and pious posture.
He stated: “The Peoples Democratic Party says Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, as a Preacher, should search his soul, seek forgiveness, and make restitution for entangling himself in corruption and sharp practices, instead of his lame effort at concealment in the N5.8 billion North-East Intervention Fund scandal.
“It is heartrending that Osinbajo, despite his sanctimonious posturing, is being fingered in the frittering of the N5.8 billion meant for the purchase of food and the general welfare of the suffering Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the North-East.”