The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has insisted that Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation; and Hadiza Bala-Usman, the suspended Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) must be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation over the NPA probe.
The PDP’s demand to President Muhammadu Buhari was contained in a statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, its National Publicity Secretary, on Monday in reaction to the ongoing probe saga at the NPA.
According to the main opposition party, the “NPA, NDDC (Niger Delta Development Commission) and other agencies of government in the last six years has shown that our MDAs have become the cash cows and Automated Teller Machines of greedy leaders of the All Progressives Congress and their cronies” under President Buhari’s watch.
The party alleged that Amaechi is trying to instigate a cover-up of the alleged financial recklessness of the NPA by setting up an administrative panel of enquiry headed by people solely chosen by him.
It also alleged that Judith, Amaechi’s wife, was involved in a N48 billion contract scam causing chaos at the NDDC.
The PDP, therefore, asked President Buhari to sack both Amaechi and Bala-Usman and immediately hand them over to the EFCC for investigation and possible prosecution.
The statement read: “The Peoples Democratic Party demands the immediate sack, investigation and prosecution of Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, as well as the suspended Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman, over exposed looting of over N165bn in the agency
“The party also asks the transport minister to come clean on his reported connection in the alleged involvement of his wife, Mrs Edith Amaechi, in the exposed N48bn contract scam currently rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission.
“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 N165bn unremitted operating surpluses 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 the Auditor-General which also unearthed the looting of unremitted deduction to Federal Inland Revenue Service 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 N15.18bn allegedly siphoned through shady Corporate Social Responsibility projects by the NPA, an agency under Amaechi’s ministerial purview.
“The PDP, therefore, rejects the obvious attempt at a cover-up in the recourse to an Administrative Panel of Enquiry recommended by the transport minister to investigate the NPA fraud, in which he also has some questions to answer.
“Our party insists that both the minister and the indicted NPA Managing Director should be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for investigation and possible prosecution.”
The PDP stated that the purported magnitude of fraud that happened in the NPA could only happen under the watch of an absentee president, who condones corruption.
“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,” it added.