Cross River State Joint Committee on the diversion of Relief materials meant for Internally Displaced People (IDP) of Bakassi are investigating the diversion of relief materials estimated at millions of naira.
The committee has pencilled Senator Florence Ita Giwa amongst those invited to appear before it. She is to explain to the committee how she distributed the building materials and other items she took away three weeks ago for the Bakassi displaced people.
A joint committee of Health and Local Government Affairs set up by the House of Assembly and chaired by Hon 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 Senator Ita Giwa has to explain how she distributed the items in her custody even as she was the one who blew the whistle on the alleged diversion of some items.
“Senator Giwa took delivery of a portion of the items which were brought by the National Commission for Refugees three weeks ago and she has to explain how she distributed the items to the Bakassi IDPs for whom the items are meant for,” Mrs Anyogor told us
She said the Committee was set up following a petition by three IDPs that materials meant for the renovation of their buildings which were affected by fire outbreak in January but were allegedly diverted by some leaders of the area.
“This committee will ensure that every item diverted would be recovered from whoever may have misappropriated or diverted any of them and hand them over to the persons whom they are genuinely meant,” she said.
The Committee Chairman said the Director General of the State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr John Inaku had informed the committee during preliminary investigations that the items were taken delivery by the agency in Calabar and shared into three portions with Ita Giwa taking some while some were handed over to one Chief Udeme Effiong 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 keep.”
She said none of the items was found in the shop for sale as being claimed and assured that the Committee will get to the root of the matter and ensure that every item diverted is recovered and properly distributed to the IDPs.