Moving a motion he titled: “Incessant Malpractices Associated with Diplomatic Posting and deliberate Draining of Resources in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a call for Investigation,” Elumelu revealed that “there are serious allegations of massive fleecing to the tune of millions of dollars by some erring officials of the ministry through deliberate defiance of recall orders.
The Minority Leader while pointing accusing finger at the erring officials, said that one year after their recall to headquarters they are still receiving full entitlements such as accommodation allowance, house maintenance, transport allowance, medical and utility bills allowances even though they have been officially posted back to Nigeria.
Elumelu noted that these corrupt practices were the handwork of a well orchestrated cartel embedded in the ministry. “These alleged corrupt practices is said to be aided by a staff of the human resources department of the ministry who collects sums of money from these erring officials and intentionally frustrates efforts of posted colleagues to replace those posted back to headquarters by refusing to perfect the needed documentation that will enable them to resume duty at the various foreign missions.”
Continuing, the Minority Leader declared, “while these officials are busy fleecing the ministry of millions of dollars monthly, the ministry is said to have no functional clinic, no generators nor functional air conditioning system and no internet access, making the environment unconducive for staff to perform at an optimal level.”
He expressed fears that if these corrupt practices and consistent disregard for constituted authority by the staff of the ministry is not put to check it may paint Nigeria in a bad image before the international community and ridicule the fight against corruption by the Buhari’s administration, “hence the need for an urgent investigation.”
Following the motion, the House then resolved to “ mandate its committee on foreign affairs to investigate these allegations and report back in four weeks.
Reacting to Elumele’s motion, a Nigerian Community leader based in Padova welcomed the investigation, stressing that such investigation should start from Italy where diplomats are recalled but bribe their way to remain in the country.
The community leader who spoke to AfroLife under anonymity, point to a recent report by this magazine in which a recalled diplomat in the person of Franklin Ogunyemi schemed his way, challenging a sitting Ambassador so that he could act as the Charge d’Affaires of the Mission. He also pointed to another officer who had been recalled to proceed on retirement leave but still loitering around at the Embassy of Nigeria in Rome in the person of Adedoyin Ifedun.