By Gbade Ogunwale, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has demanded the immediate prosecution of a former Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman.
Bala-Usman, who had been under investigation over alleged financial infractions, was reportedly sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement on Thursday by spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said President Buhari should not just ‘ease out’ Bala Usman but must go ahead to prosecute her for alleged involvement in corrupt practices.
The office of the Auditor General for the Federation had, in a recent report, uncovered massive financial mismanagement by the NPA management under Bala-Usman.
Among the revelations made in the Auditor General’s report included alleged stealing of unremitted deductions to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) amounting to N3,667,750,470. $148,845,745.04, Euro 4,891,449.50 and £252,682.14 under Bala-Usman’s watch at the NPA.
The main opposition party also charged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately arrest Bala Usman for questioning and prosecution over the alleged fraud, including the reported stealing of N15.18 billion through alleged shady Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects by the NPA.
The PDP also urged the EFCC to extend its searchlight to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, under whose ministerial watch the alleged looting of the NPA was perpetrated.
The party wondered why it took Amaechi six years from 2016 to 2021 to query the ex- NPA Managing Director over the alleged looting of N165 billion unremitted operational surplus of the agency.
According to the PDP, the Minister’s inaction has raised public apprehension of an afterthought, which it observed, only came after indicting audit documents had already been exposed.
“The PDP, standing with Nigerians, will continue to closely monitor the actions of the Buhari administration and resist attempts by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to sweep the matter under the carpet in the desperation to shield many of its leaders involved in the reckless looting in the NPA, particularly, finances relating to the 2019 elections sleaze funds,” the statement added.