By Chibuzo Ukaibe, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called for the immediate sack, investigation and prosecution of minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, as well as the suspended managing director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, over the alleged looting of over N165billion in the agency.
The opposition party also asked the transportation minister to come clean on his reported connection with the alleged involvement of his wife, Mrs. Edith Amaechi, in the exposed N48 billion contract scam currently rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The party said it was against a move to use Administrative Panel of Enquiry to investigate the allegations, insisting that both the minister and the suspended NPA managing director should be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation and possible prosecution.
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The national publicity secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Monday, said the foul stench of corruption oozing out of the NPA, NDDC and other agencies of government in the last six years has shown that MDAs have become the cash cows and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of greedy leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their cronies in government in their unbridled looting of national patrimony under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch.
Ologbondiyan in the statement said, “Our party asserts that the fact that it took the minister a clear six years (2016 to 2021) to query the NPA Managing Director over the alleged looting of N165 billion unremitted operating surplus of the agency, which is under his purview, is suspect and raises public belief that he (Amaechi) only acted apparently to shied himself after indicting audit documents had already been exposed.
“This is in addition to reports from the office of Auditor General which also unearthed the looting of unremitted deduction to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) amounting to N3,667,750,470. $148,845,745.04, Euro 4,891,449.50 and £252,682.14 under the suspended NPA Managing Director and Amaechi’s ministerial supervision.
“The audit report also exposed another N15.18 billion allegedly siphoned through shady Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects by the NPA, an agency under Amaechi’s ministerial purview.”
The PDP, however, said it rejects attempt at a coverup in the recourse to an Administrative Panel of Enquiry recommended by the Transport minister to investigate the alleged NPA fraud.
“Moreover, Nigerians are appalled that fingers of fraud allegation are also pointing to the wife of the Transport Minister in a N48 billion contract scam under the sacked NDDC’s Managing Director, Nelson Bambraifa, who was reportedly nominated into that position by the minister of transportation, Amaechi, but fired on allegations of corruption.
“The PDP describes as unpardonable that the humongous sum in the NDDC contract scam involving the wife of the transport minister was allegedly siphoned under the guise of offering training to unsuspecting youths in the area.
“It is indeed disgraceful that under the APC that promised to fight and end corruption in our country, the public space is awash with revelations of sharing of government revenues among concubines, wives, girlfriends and family members of top APC leaders. This can only happen under the watch of an absentee president, who also condone corruption,” the opposition party stated