Some stakeholders in the Niger Delta have commended the National Assembly for its decision to investigate alleged fraud in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The stakeholders under the aegis of the Transparency and Accountability Advancement Group (TAAG) said it was heartwarming that the National Assembly was going to probe the humongous scam in the NDDC under the Interim Management Committee (IMC) in a few months.
Its National President, Godknows Sotonye, said in view of overwhelming evidence and in good conscience, the group maintained that the IMC had become a cesspool of corruption where humongous contracts worth billions of naira were awarded without proper bills indicating lot, quality and quantity specifications.
According to him, payments too have been rigged to systematically sidestep financial regulations in an organised scam that makes nonsense of Federal Government’s anti-corruption message.
“We invite the Senate and House of Representatives to diligently investigate activities of the NDDC under the IMC, probe all payments made and unearth the looting of the Niger Delta patrimony by the greedy and crooked band of interventionists, who have deceived their way into office.
“While we trust that these committees of the National Assembly as representatives of the people will uphold due process and ensure that the investigation is thorough, above board and transparent, we want to assure them that documentary evidence of these shady contracts and payments are available at the relevant government institutions.” He said.
He declared that although the IMC had tried to destroy records and evidences of its fraudulent dealings, the secondary records are still available at the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He added that the Senate and House Committees set up to investigate these frauds should request the CBN and the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAGF) to provide the TSA Bank details of the NDDC since the IMC was set up.
“The TSA schedule of payments is the authentic and unadulterated truth of who has been paid what, when and for what. Beyond that, we invite both committees to forensically examine the work of the IMC and determine if this illegal contraption still has a role to play in the repositioning of the NDDC,” he said.
Acting Managing Director of the commission, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei, said setting up the committee was another NDDC’s response to COVID-19 and the effects of lockdown to assist the Niger Delta people.