By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir David Lawal, yesterday, failed to show up at an investigative hearing to explain how his office spent the N12 billion allocated for internally displaced persons, IDPs, and the North-East.
The public hearing was organised by the House of Representatives Committee on IDPs and North-East.
The committee, headed by Mohammed Sani Zoro, APC, Jigawa, also queried the Presidential Initiative on the North-East, PINE, for spending N270 million on clearing of grass and another N188.685 million for Nigerian refugees living in Minawao in Republic of Cameroon and Niger.
Zoro, apparently angered by the SGF’s absence, said: “The SGF, who was slated to appear hasn’t shown up, neither did he write to intimate us on why his office would not come to explain why the condition of internally displaced persons has remained un-encouraging, despite the billions of naira claimed to have been spent.
“The PINE officials said he is at the Villa. But as the Secretary to the Government under whose office the rehabilitation of the North-East was placed, we had expected him to come to throw light on the financial expenses made by his office and the implementation framework being used to spend money.
“We have been inundated with reports of diversion of materials and funds meant for the rehabilitation of the IDPs, and the North-East and the scandal had led to international embarrassment for the country.”