NDDC, Niger Delta Development Agency Probe
The National Assembly (NASS) yesterday passed a resolution to investigate alleged corruption and mismanagement of public funds in the NDDC, Niger Delta Development Agency Probe.
Highlights of Today: NDDC Niger Delta Probe
Mr. Daniel Pondei – Ag MD, NDDC Fainted
Godswill Akpabio – Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Exposes NASS Members as Beneficiaries of Looted Money
The Senate passed the resolution to investigate how N40 billion was spent on the IMC in three months, after debating a motion supported by Senator Yemi Osinbajo, chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs. This was announced by AKINOLA Bashiru, speaker of the Ninth Senate, in a statement from his office in Abuja. The Senate also ordered Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, who chairs the Niger Delta Affairs Committee, to spend a month investigating the NDDC’s management of public funds in the development of its projects.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Bashiru added that the commission should submit to the Anti-Transplant Authority a list of all financial transactions by the DDA and its subsidiaries for investigation. He pledged to close the ongoing investigation into his Commission’s financial transactions.
More recently, the NDDC corruption scandal has been embroiled in an ongoing battle between individuals and groups accusing the Interim Administration Committee of misappropriating funds for development projects in various ways. Last week, a group of former DDA board members and other interest groups wrote an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him to use his leadership to urgently establish a presidential investigative panel to investigate the National Development Commission’s alleged misappropriation of public funds.
The agency is alleged to have illegally spent $81.5 billion on travel, condolence, counseling, and public communications between January and July 2020. This includes buying a private jet, a hotel, and a luxury car, according to the letter.
The NDDC leadership said the Senate inquiry was instigated by people who wanted to thwart the commission’s planned forensic examination. She added that witnesses and whistleblowers should be protected and the findings of the investigation made public and that the alleged perpetrators should be handed over to the appropriate anti-corruption authority if relevant and admissible evidence is available. The organization also called for all those involved in the allegations to be suspended immediately pending the outcome of such an investigation.
Three days ago, the NDDC issued a shocking statement implicating the former Delta State Governor, Abubakar Nwaoboshi of the Delta North PDP. Backed by the chairman of the board, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and other senators, she accused the Senate of corruption and inappropriate interference in the work of her commission. In the statement, Charles Odili, a spokesman for NDDC, said: “Mr. Nwaoboshi of Delta North has used 11 companies to secure his position as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CFO) of a number of companies.
On Monday, the governor of the Niger Delta, Abubakar Nwaoboshi, and other members of his PDP party distanced themselves from the charge that he was being investigated to investigate the agency.
President Muhammadu Buhari said the investigation was necessary after a public complaint against the Intervention Authority. It has the full support of the Niger Delta Development Authority (NDDA) and other actors in the region.
The governors of Akwa Ibom and Imo, Delta have distanced themselves from the accusations made against them by the governors of the Niger Delta region. The NDDC claimed that the governor of the Niger Delta had opened the investigation and was planning to kidnap the commission. The governor of Abia state, Emmanuel Uduaghan, the head of the executive, called the claim that he wanted to control the agency “baseless and unfounded.”
Imo State Governor Emeka Ihedioha, speaking for himself, said the decision to launch a forensic investigation into the agency was not a matter for the Federal government, as the governors could not tell the president what to do. The governor of the Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, spoke on behalf of his state that “the president does not need the permission of a governor in the Niger Delta to lead the NDDC probe.
He urged President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently set up a presidential commission of inquiry to investigate the alleged embezzlement of Niger dollars worth N81.5 billion by the Niger Delta Development Commission. SERAP specifically called for an investigation into whether the agency illegally spent N82.7 billion between January and July 2020 on travel, condolence, counseling and public communications, and $5 billion on travel. Although the president has allegedly received more than NN 1.2 billion in bribes and other forms of financial support over the past five years, it has been suggested that the federal government is likely to lack interest in answering questions from members of the Delta Development Commission about the misuse of its funds.
The organization, which sent the appeal to Buhari in a letter dated July 18, asked the president to suspend the minister of Niger Delta affairs, Muhammadu Bahari, immediately, and the 42 names were sent by President Muhammadu Bahari to Senate President Ahmad Lawan, who read the letter to him last week.
People of Interest
- Chief Godswill Obot Akpabio, CON – Minister of Niger Delta Affairs
- Mr. Daniel Pondei – Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)
- Joy Nunieh