From Esther Akaa, Lafia
Operatives of the Department of State Services ( DSS) have arrested some officials of the Nasarawa State government for allegedly selling the Federal government’s palliatives meant to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal.
The Voice gathered that the officials of the Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency (NASEMA) and their accomplices were apprehended while selling the food items at the Modern Market in Lafia, the state capital.
The spokesperson of the DSS, Peter Afunanya had in a statement noted that NASEMA officials and their accomplices were arrested in the markets, including Modern Market in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, where the items were being resold.
He said: “The Department of State Services (DSS) has received reports from some State Governments relating to diversion or sale of palliatives meant for their citizens.
“Consequently, the Service undertook investigations in that regard and has recovered some of the items as well as apprehended the suspects.
“While this operation is ongoing in other states, the Service has for instance, intercepted a suspected criminal syndicate in Nasarawa State responsible for the diversion and sale of the palliatives meant for the vulnerable in the place.
“Among those suspects are officials of Nasarawa State Emergency Management Agency (NASEMA) and their accomplices in the markets, notably, Modern Market, Lafia, where the items were being resold.”
He said the arrested suspects have been handed over for appropriate disciplinary measures and urged Nigerians, with information relating to the emerging trend to report to security agencies for necessary action.
Reacting to the alleged criminal act, the Governor of the state, Engr Abdullahi Sule, who spoke through his Senior Special Assistant ( SSA) on Public Affairs, Comrade Peter Ahemba, in a statement made available to journalists in Lafia, Wednesday urged the law enforcement agencies to deal with those involved according to the law.
He said, “The Nasarawa State Government has received with sense of satisfaction, the progress by the Department of State Services (DSS) in the arrest of some officials of NASEMA, alleged to be part of a nationwide syndicate which specialises in diverting relief materials donated by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for distribution to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and victims of flood in the State.
“His Excellency Engr Abdullahi A. Sule has always championed the fear of God Almighty in the way officials conduct affairs of government under their trust.
“The governor noted that it is unfortunate that, while the Federal and State Governments are working relentlessly to alleviate the hardship being faced by the victims, some government officials will shamelessly collude with criminal elements and get involved in the diversion and sales of the materials.
“The administration of His Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule has remained consistent since assumption of office on May 29th, 2019 in the prudent and transparent management of State’s meager resources, just as accountability in governance has been the watchword of the A.A Sule administration and so, will not condone any act of indiscipline and criminality from any official of the government.
“Engr Abdullahi A. Sule as Chairman of the North Central Governors’ Forum is poised to support the DSS in casting it’s net widely and getting to the root of the activities of this nefarious syndicate, so that those found wanting are meant to face the full wrath of the law, no matter how highly placed.”
Meanwhile, the Executive Secretary of NASEMA, Barr Zachary Allumaga, has disassociated himself from the alleged criminal act involving some staff of the agency.
Allumaga, who spoke via a telephone conversation with The Voice on Wednesday said Governor Sule had already ordered the prosecution of those involved in the diversion and sale of the palliatives meant to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal in the state.