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.”