The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration over its handling of the allegations against the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Usman.

The caucus, in a statement by the Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP Delta), on Monday, called on the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) to take over the case.

Ms Usman was suspended on Sunday for the alleged discrepancy in the operating surplus of her agency, from 2016 to 2020.

The letter of her suspension came three days after the news of her suspension.

Her suspension was approved by President Buhari, following the recommendation of the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, to set up an administrative panel of inquiry to investigate Ms Usman’s management of the NPA. The president approved the recommendations and set up the panel.

Ms Usman has denied any wrongdoing.

Elumelu questions panel of inquiry

The Minority Leader said that “the mere suspension of the indicted Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, and the resort to an administrative panel of enquiry even after the report by the Supervising Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, exposed an unremitted and possibly diverted operating surplus of N165 billion, amounts (to) romancing and perfuming corruption by the APC-led Federal Government.”

He noted the EFCC should “take in the indicted Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman, and commence a system-wide investigation with a view to prosecuting her, if found wanting.”

He alleged that the administrative panel is a “decoy to shield some other APC government officials involved in the looting spree at NPA and other affiliated agencies in the transport sector.”

Mr Elumelu’s party, PDP, had earlier taken a similar position by calling for a probe by the EFCC.

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