Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Minister of Water Resources Engr. Suleiman Adamu, to clarify the action he has taken to find the alleged billions missing from the Ministry and its agencies
SERAP said if there is relevant admissible evidence of corruption and mismanagement, he should refer the allegations to appropriate anti-corruption agencies for investigation and prosecution.
The request was contained in a Freedom of Information request dated February 27, 2021, signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare an sent to the Minister by the organisation as reported by The Nation.
The letter is copied to Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN) and Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa.
SERAP gave the Minister 14 days to respond to its request failure of which it said “the Incorporated Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your Ministry to implement these recommendations in the public interest, and to promote transparency and accountability in the water sector.”
It also urged then Water Resources Minister to “ensure the full recovery of any missing public funds, revealed in the 2017 annual audited report by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation.”
The organisation said it is important for the Minister to address the allegations satisfactorily adding, “recovering any missing public funds is a critical matter of public health, human rights, transparency and accountability. The COVID-19 crisis makes this action all the more urgent.”
SERAP said: “Knowing how the Ministry has responded to the queries from the Auditor-General, and ensuring a thorough investigation and prosecution of these allegations would end impunity for corruption in the water sector, serve the public interest, as well as help to improve access of Nigerians to clean water and sanitation services.
“Millions of Nigerians continue to lack access to an improved water source and access to proper sanitation. Limited availability of water in public hospitals makes it difficult for health professionals and the public to wash their hands – restricting the ability of people to respond to COVID-19.”
About 35 Roasted To Death In Rivers Illegal Refinery
About 35 persons have been burnt to death by fire that engulfed a site of an illegal oil refinery in Rivers State.
It was gathered that the tragedy occurred at Ibaa Community, Emohua Local Government Area of the state.
The fire was said to have broken out late Sunday night when over 45 persons were gathered at the time to transact illegal oil business.
A source from the community, who spoke in confidence, said some of his cousins and a wife to one of them died in the incident.
“My community has been thrown into mourning. My cousins and a wife to one of my cousins went there too for some business but died,” he said
Another source, Emmanuel Daniel, said the victims went to the area to trade on the petroleum product when the engulfed the site.
Daniel said that people from Isiokpo Kingdom in Ikwerre Local Government Area, Ibaa and Oduoha in Emohua LGA, were affected by the fire.
Daniel said: “More than 40 people were there at the site. They were there scooping and bagging crude oil when fire caught up with them
“The fire came from a refining site that is close to the point where they were bagging the crude.
“Many Isiokpo and Oduoha people, and Ibaa people were there. Seven of the people died inside the pit where they were scooping the crude. About 10 burnt to charcoal by the pit.
“About 30 people died at the site while over 15 have been rushed to the hospital. I hear that three of them have died while they were being rushed to the hospital.”
A video showed charred remains of children, men and women, who were victims of the incident, littering the scene of the incident.
When contacted, the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) promised to get more information about the development.
Confirming the incident, the Chairman of Emuoha Local Government Area, Chidi Lloyd, said it was unfortunate that some youths were still engaging in the illicit trade despite warnings and public advocacy.
Lloyd appealed to traditional rulers in the area to speak out about and discourage such criminal activities within their domains.
He said: “It is unfortunate that people who have been misguided would lose their lives in that kind of dastardly manner in Ibaa.
“We have said this for the umpteenth time and anybody who is in Rivers State will bear me witness thet there cannot be any short cut to wealth.
“I also have said to traditional rulers that they have a duty. It is not just to be given recognition, that they have a duty to expose criminal elements within their neighbourhood. “
The council chair identified Oblle, Rukuni and Ndele as the other communities where illegal oil refining activities had persisted despite warnings.
5 Dead In Delta Tanker Explosion – Police
The Delta State Police Command says five persons died with properties including eight buses, two tankers, five trailers, two cars, and one motorcycle burnt completely in an early Sunday inferno, Channels TV reports.
Sunday’s incident happened after a tanker laden with PMS – driving towards Benin along Warri-Benin Road – fell with its content spilling into the nearby swamp.
In a statement, the command’s spokesman Bright Edafe disclosed that the spillage attracted youths who started scooping the fuel into jerry cans and other containers.
While they were at it, he said an explosion erupted and the fire engulfed the area.
Meanwhile, the Delta State Governor Sheriff Oborevwori has sent his condolences to the families of victims who got burnt in the explosion.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Festus Ahon, in Asaba, Governor Sheriff commiserated with the victims’ families on the sad incident.
He disclosed that the State has reached out to help the victims.
Governor Oborevwori blamed the unfortunate incident on the poor state of federal roads, once again calling on the Federal Government to expedite action in reconstructing failed portions of the road.
Adamawa Assembly To Support Works, Land & Survey Ministries with Requisite Legislations
The Adamawa State House of Assembly Standing Committee on Works Energy, Land and Survey says it is committed towards ensuring that the two ministries are backed by law in discharging their duties for overall development of the state.
The Chairman of the committee who is also the deputy chief whip of the house, Hon. Japheth Hammanjabu of Verre constituency stated this when he led other members on a familiarization visit to the headquarters of the ministry of land and survey and that of works and energy development separately.
Japheth Hammanjabu said the purpose of their visit was to understand the progress and challenges being faced by the ministries.
The Chairman revealed that the committee is ready to intervene on any possible review of the current legislative framework under which the ministries operate and make amendments where necessary.
He commended Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri and the commissioners of the ministries for the role they are playing towards the progress and development of the state.
In their separately, the Commissioner ministry for land and survey and the surveyor general of the state explained that the ministry and the surveyor general’s office took a holistic assessment of the major land problems in the state after which a work plan was made to that effect.
While appealing for mutual working relationship with house for them to succeed in discharging their responsibilities they also appreciated the committee for the timely visit describing the composition of the members as well deserved.
Members of the committee include the Chairman of the committee Hon. Japheth Hammanjabu of Verre, Haruna Jilantikiri of Madagali who is also the Vice Chairman of the committee and Majority Leader Kate Raymond Mamuno of Demsa, Yerima Moses of Michika, Babangida Muhammad Njidda of Nasarawo Binyeri and Yohanna Sahabo Jauro of Mubi South Constituencies as members.
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