By James Ojo – ABUJA
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has raised a high powered team of investigators to proceed to Maiduguri and investigate the alleged diversion of food items meant for millions of Internally Displaced Persons in various refugee camps in the northeast.
A source at the Commission confirmed that the team is due to arrive at the Borno state capital Monday and engage officials of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and agents of the state government in charge of feeding arrangements in the camps.
Hundreds of displaced persons, mostly women and children, in the camps had barricaded the Maiduguri-Kano-Jos highway last Thursday to protest hunger and poor feeding, particularly at the Arabic Teachers College.
The arrival of State Deputy Governor Alhaji Usman Durkwo prevented a total breakdown of law and order, as the protesters had shunned pleas by the police to disperse.
Responding to the plight of the displaced persons in most of the camps, Senate President Bukola Saraki in a statement on Saturday said that the Senate will probe severe hunger and food crisis in the camps.
But the EFFC team from Abuja, according to a source, will take off from where operatives of the anti-graft agency stopped.
Reports have it that there was diversion of grains released by the Federal Government for the camps of IDPs in the northeast.
The EFCC will investigate how only 250 trucks of grains got to the camps in Maiduguri from the 600 trucks released from the Silos of the National Grains Reserve in Minna, Niger State.
Investigators will attempt to uncover the disappearance or diversion of 350 trucks of grains and food items deliberately kept in some stores instead of distributing them to the hungry people at the camps.
As a result of scarcity of food items in the northeast because of the activities of the Boko Haram, a truck of grain is said to be going for about N3.5 million, depending on the quality.
The source added that the team will be reporting directly to the Acting chairman of EFCC Ibrahim Magu due to the seriousness attached to the hunger crisis in IDP camps, a situation that has attracted the attention of the United Nations.