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Tuesday, 16 February 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked to immediately order the investigation into the procurement mechanism at the Niger Delta Amnesty office since the assumption of office.
Few months ago, there was allegation on the Presidential Adviser on Niger Delta Amnesty Office, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (rtd), following widespread allegations of serious violations of due process and abuses of procurement law in the purchase of exotic bullet proof cars, and the payments of outrageous fees to a largely unknown firm (Westerfield) company to coach some repentant ex- militants preparatory to writing The Joint Admissions and Matriculation of Board (JAMB) examination.

HURIWA has also expressed serious concern that at the time President Buhari is reportedly preaching strict adherence to the procurement Act to avoid corruption and economic crime, a key appointee of the president was allegedly given unfettered permission to embark on “spending bazaar and bonanza of frivolous purchases of highly exorbitant and exotic bullet proof (armoured) cars even when widespread reports of forceful repatriation of beneficiaries of the Amnesty Office’s foreign educational scholarship schemes for failure to meet financial and tuitions of these ex-militants have emerged embarrassingly.”

HURIWA stated in a media statement issued yesterday by by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf,  that it was shocking that the erstwhile Aviation Minister, Mrs. Stella Oduah, is still being prosecuted by the EFCC at the Federal High Court for allegedly frittering millions of public fund to purchase exotic armoured cars which attracted public outcry, while Boroh proceeded to purchase exotic armoured SUV for his official use even when he inherited a standard brand new cars.

The rights group noted that it amounts to extravagant expenditures of the most crudely and inordinate form for the Special Adviser to President Buhari who is serving a government battling to come to terms with how to meet up with the welfare needs of Nigerians to now be seen to have actually blown away N48 billion within few months of his appointment.
 “Among the frivolities include official cars, when he actually reportedly inherited from his predecessor, Mr Kingsley Kuku, a brand new Toyota Land cruiser,” it alleged.

HURIWA stated that the idea of hiring an untested coaching  firm (Westerfield) to coach prospective undergraduates on how to pass university admission test makes nonsense of the transparency and accountability threshold of a democratic government “when it is a notorious fact that Nigeria is richly endowed with good and credible teaching staff who can guide prospective students preparatory to eventual university admissions at affordable professional fees which would save cost.

 “How on earth can an official of the government who has told the world that it needs to borrow from World Bank to pay public workers to now be identified as a man who loves ostentatious lifestyle at the expense of the distressed beneficiaries of this Niger Delta Amnesty Programme?
“President Buhari must ensure that the relevant agencies of law enforcement and anti-graft agencies are allowed to immediately swing into action to recover this scarce public fund being frittered away on frivolous items by the Special Adviser on Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, Boroh.

“This unmitigated extravagance must be effectively checked and all indicted officials made to face the full wrath of the law. The fact that the office of the Special Adviser on Niger Delta Amnesty Programme seeks to justify these outrageous expenditures which may have violated extant procurement and transparency laws is abominable and unacceptable.”

HURIWA condemned the act saying: “This is reprehensible and totally condemnable. These series of near sleazy acquisitions by a public official at this troubling financial time is unsustainable and must be questioned by the anti corruption authorities because these purchases are clear breaches of the Nigerian monetisation policy and is a breach of the Bureau of Public Procurement Act because a special adviser isn’t allowed to reach such a phenomenal thresholds of authorising payments for multimillion projects and purchases.”

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