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C-River Assembly probes alleged diversion of Bakassi relief materials

By Emma Una

CALABAR—CROSS River State House of Assembly Committee  investigating allegations of diversion of relief materials is to summon Senator Florence Ita-Giwa and other Bakassi leaders to give details of how materials supplied to the Internally Displaced Persons, IDP, in Bakassi were distributed.

This follows allegations that some of  the materials  supplied by the National Commission for Refugees to the IDPs  for the reconstruction of some  houses razed in a fire at Atabong in January this year were diverted by some leaders of the area.

A joint Committee of Health and Local Government Affairs set up  by the House of  Assembly,  chaired by Mrs  Regina  Anyogor , the member representing Yala 1, to investigate the alleged diversion of the materials supplied by the National Commission for Refugees to the Bakassi refugees said that Senator Ita-Giwa has to explain how she distributed the items in her custody, even though she was the one who blew the whistle on the alleged diversion of some of the items.

Anyogor said: “Senator Ita-Giwa took delivery of  some relief  items which were brought  by the National Commission for Refugees three weeks ago and she and other leaders of Bakassi who also took delivery of materials would have  to explain how the materials were  distributed  to the Bakassi IDPs for whom  the items were meant.”

She said that the committee was set up following a petition by three IDPs that some materials meant for the renovation of their buildings affected by fire outbreak in January were allegedly diverted by some leaders of the area.

“This committee will ensure that every item is recovered from whoever may have misappropriated or diverted any of them  and  hand over same  to the persons whom they are  meant for,” she said.

The Committee Chairman said that the Director-General of the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr Jon Inaku had  informed the committee during preliminary investigations that the items were delivered to the agency in Calabar and shared into three portions with Ita-Giwa taking some while some were handed over to one Chief Udeme  Okon  for onward delivery to the people  of  Atabong,  who reside in the water area.

“Chief Udeme kept those items in his house  at Ekpri Ikang and tried to get in touch with Senator Ita-Giwa   but several efforts proved abortive until the Senator got wind that some items were  with the man and went there  and carted the items to the police station for safe keeping.”

 


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