The Former Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo on National Assembly Matters, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, has alleged staff of Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) diverted relief materials meant for refugees in Ata Ema community of Bakassi Local Government Area.
She made the allegation while addressing newsmen in Calabar following a tip-off by a whistle-blower.
According to her, the diverted relief materials were meant to provide support for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Ata Ema community whose shanties were razed in an inferno in April 2017.
Ita-Giwa said that, some of the items allegedly found in private home of the SEMA staff, were the materials meant to be part of the federal government’s intervention in the area.
She said that she had gone to Ata-Ema with the National Refugee Commissioner after the inferno, and a fortnight later; the National Refugee Commission intervened with the materials which were delivered in a ceremony held at Cross River SEMA office with the Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, in attendance.
Ita-Giwa, however, lamented that the materials were yet to be delivered till date.
She said: “I want Nigerians to know this. The relief materials were for the people in Ata Ema, whose houses were engulfed by fire.
“Then I started hearing rumors that they were seeing those things in timber market, that they are seeing the zincs being sold off.
“In fact, the information was given to us by a whistleblower who was supposed to be part of the transaction of selling of some of the items.”
Meanwhile the Director General of the Cross River State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) John Inaku, swiftly took to the airwave to dismiss the claims by Ita-Giwa.
Inaku, in a live programme anchored by Rasheed Olanrewaju of AIT, said the allegations hold not waters as the relief materials were delivered to the Head of local Government Administration (HOLGA) in the Local Government Area for onward transmission to victims of the fire incident.
The items presented to the Bakassi IDPs by the National Refugee Commission to ease their pain over the inferno include; 268 bags of cement, 400 bundles of roofing sheets, over 800 assorted woods, 95 bags of rice, 50 bags of beans, 70 bags of 50kg Garri, drugs and other materials.
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