OrderPaperToday – A drama between the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Sen. Chris Ngige and the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee probing the change of management of the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund (NSITF) played out a while ago as the former threatened court action.

The minister accused the committee of attacking his person and stressed that if the representatives continue along that line, he would meet them in court.

Senator Ngige who appeared before the ad-hoc committee set the stage for another drama when he presented relevant documents for scrutiny but refused to submit the presidential directive on the suspension of the top management of the NSITF.
He said he needed to receive an approval from his boss (the president) before he could submit the document.
This led to argument which lasted for awhile until the chairperson of the ad-hoc committee, Miriam Onouha (APC, Imo) steered proceedings to other issues.
The Labour minister while making his presentation told the lawmakers that the suspended Managing Director of the NSITF, Mr. Adebayo Somefun, former executive directors of the agency and some other officials siphoned a whopping sum of N48 billion without payment of salaries, allowances and other emoluments to staff.
He stressed that their suspension was well deserved as it was a normal disciplinary administrative procedure to deal with issues of corruption and lack of transparency in public service.
He disclosed that there was a preliminary investigative report by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that the sum of N48 billion had been stolen from the coffers of the agency and investigations showed that the suspended officials were liable.
Asked whether the suspension was approved by the President, he said that he got the presidential approval to sack the officials and showed the approval document which he insisted was a classified one.
Earlier on, Ngige had told the panel that his reputation had been badly injured by a committee member, Mr.James Faleke, who contributed to the debate of the motion on the need to investigate the matter on the floor of the House.
He accused the lawmaker of damaging his reputation stressing that if it continues, they will meet in court. He therefore demanded that he recuse himself from the investigative panel.

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