HURIWA seeks probe of allocations to Adamawa, Borno, Yobe councils

THE Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) yesterday enjoined the Director-General of Federal Budget Office and the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation to institute a probe into the utilisation of allocations to local councils in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

The rights group in a statement by its National Co-ordinator, Mr. Emmanuel Onwubiko, said there is an urgent need to obtain forensic information on the operations of the allocations that accrued to the three North-East states meant for onward transmission to the local councils during the period that armed terrorists controlled some local councils for half a year.

According to the group: “President Muhammadu Buhari has been specifically tasked to demand records of how these state governors handled the allocations meant for these local councils during the period that armed insurgents took over.

“Till the end of January 2015, nine local councils in Borno State were under full Boko Haram occupation. They are: Gwoza, Bama, Mafa, Dikwa, Kala-Balge, Ngala, Marte, Abadam and Mobbar. The other four are Michika and Madagali in Adamawa State as well as Gujba and Gulani in Yobe State.

“The insurgents had prior to their eventual dislodgment by the Nigerian military also established partial control in parts of some local councils in Borno, comprising Mungono, Kukawa, Guzamala, Gubio, Magumeri, Damboa, Konduga, Chibok, Askira Uba and Jere.”

HURIWA said it is a well-known fact that during the period of occupation by the terrorists, the entire administrative structures of those local councils were in disarray and it is imperative to ask relevant questions to ascertain where those allocations for the local councils went. “Did these state governors share these allocations to the Boko Haram administrators or what?”

HURIWA said the state governments ought to have reserved the specific allocations meant for these councils pending their eventual liberation given that the hundreds of thousands of indigenous people displaced by the insurgency who are returning now that the Nigerian state has restored a semblance of federal presence would be in severe need of state governments interventions from their due and constitutionally valid allocations from the Federation Accounts of Nigeria which were actually paid out to these respective state administrations by the Federal Ministry of Finance.

It, therefore, said the continuous silence of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the defunct Seventh session of the National Assembly has made it imperative that the incoming National Assembly and the soon to be constituted Executive Council of the federation to demand for the unambiguous accounts of management or mismanagement of the funds in question.

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