The clearest indication yet that all may be unwell with the office of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo emerged Tuesday in far away Kaduna as the nation’s anti-corruption agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alluded to various scams within a programme directly supervised by the Vice President.
Ripples Nigeria had reported how Osinbajo’s office had become focus of national discourse as his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, took far reaching decisions to curtail his deputy’s power and influence.
First, was the dissolution of the Economic Management Team (EMT) and its replacement with the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) which will report directly to the President.
The second which set the media abuzz was a directive that the Vice President must at all times secure approval from the president’s office before implementing any decision over the agencies or organs of government under his supervision.
However, on Tuesday, the presidency took the lid off what, perhaps, is the key issue driving closer scrutiny of Osinbajo’s office.
Speaking in Kaduna, on Tuesday, Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, alleged that the National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP) and Anchor Borrowers Programme were riddled with corruption. The former is supervised by Osinbajo, and the later by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Magu raised the alarm at the 15th Anti-Corruption Situation Room organised by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda in Kaduna. He was represented by Wilson Uwujaren, the Commission’s head of Media and Publicity.
Among others, he said:
“The crisis in Nigeria today boils down to corruption. The EFCC is doing everything possible to ensure that stolen resources are recovered and returned. Civil society organizations need to play more active role, especially in the National Social Investment Programme.
“Corruption has crept into the implementation of the programme. We want to ensure that we don’t create more crisis from a crisis situation. In the Anchor Borrower’s Programme, there are people who are bagging sand instead of fertilizer.”
Sources familiar with the developments told Ripples Nigeria that the EFCC had been on the trail of a few Osinbajo aides for a while, noting that most had developed lifestyles not in tandem with their earnings.
“These aides had acquired huge resources within the space of a short time in their stay in the Vice President’s office, and there are suspicions they may be enriching themselves at the nation’s expense,” our source said.
“Ultimately, the Vice President may be affected one way or the other, or he’ll exonerate himself, but I can tell you, one or two of his aides, suspected of foul play will have to go”, the source added.
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