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NEMA Officials Arrested In Gombe Over Diversion Of Relief Materials
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC, Gombe state command, has thwarted the plot by some corrupt officials of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, to corner two trucks filled with relief materials meant for Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs in Taraba state.
The NSCDC Commandant in the state, Shem Obafaiye, who addressed newsmen on Saturday, said he got wind of the plan of the officials of NEMA who conspired with some private businessmen to perpetrate the act, adding that the truck drivers and six persons had been arrested and are helping with investigation.
“I received intelligence report about their activities and directed my men to swing into action immediately. My men were on ground when they were loading. After loading, the first vehicle waited somewhere for the second one to load and they both moved to a private store located at Nassarawo area of Gombe, where they usually drop such relief materials. At the point of off loading, my men apprehended them. ” he said.
Obafaiye, who just took over in the command, said the state government and all relevant agencies had been apprised of the issue and men of the Civil Defense Corps have been deployed to take over the private store.
“The private store has been sealed up and our men are guarding the place while the owner of the warehouse is in our custody and the drivers of the trucks as well.” he said.
Obafaiye expressed concern that a truck carrying a waybill for Taraba state could dispense its goods at a private store in Gombe..
One of the truck drivers, Hamza Ibrahim, and the store agent, Bello Abubakar, confessed to committing the crime for which they were arrested.
The head of operations at the Gombe state field office of NEMA, Zainab Umar, who reacted to the incident, said the agency indeed dispatched two truckload of relief materials to Baruwa in Taraba state on Friday but denied any knowledge of the diversion.
“On Friday November 28, through our transporter, we loaded two trucks with relief materials like rice, millet, beans, roofing sheets, detergents, milk and many more for IDPs in Baruw, Taraba state, and we paid them cash but I am not aware they diverted the goods to a private store in Gombe. This is not fair. “she said
Umar said she would join hands together with the NSCDC to recover the items and send them to the people that ought to take possession of them.
She said she got to know about the incident on Friday evening, adding that she thought that the trucks were impounded due to issues relating to vehicle particulars.