On Thursday, November 17, the Senate commenced a recent probe of alleged misappropriation of N6.2 billion by the dissolved Interim Administration Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Improvement Fee (NDDC).
The cash was to offer palliatives to cushion the impression of COVID-19 pandemic.
The investigation adopted a petition by Chairman of the NDDC Palliatives Distribution Committee, Sobomabo Jackrich.
Jackrich informed the Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges that the IMC, led by its fast previous Managing Director, Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei, squandered the fund.
He added that he has all of the proof to assist his allegation.
The newest allegation provides to the checklist of different alleged misappropriated funds by the IMC which is presently being investigated by the Federal Authorities and no less than two different committees of the Senate.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Petitions, Ayo Akinyelure (Ondo Central) mentioned he was not conscious of any distribution of palliatives by NDDC within the area.
The Committee, nevertheless, stepped down the listening to after not one of the affected NDDC officers confirmed up.
The committee insisted Pondei and his colleagues should seem to elucidate how the cash put aside to learn poor indigenes of the Niger Delta was utilised.
They’re anticipated to look on January 26.
Pondei ‘fainted’ on July 20 throughout his presentation on the probe of the NDDC by the Home of Representatives.
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and the MC appeared earlier than the Home Committee on Niger Delta over alleged corruption.
The committee was investigating an alleged N82.5 billion irregular expenditure within the NDDC
The Home mentioned the paperwork submitted by each the Central Financial institution of Nigeria (CBN) and the Auditor-Basic of the Federation confirmed that the overall quantity spent by the NDDC from January to Could 2020 was N81.5 billion.
It mentioned the fee claimed to have spent N1.3billion on group relations, N122.9million on condolences, N83million on consultancy and N3.14billion on COVID-19.
The IMC was additionally mentioned to have spent N486million on Responsibility Journey Allowance, N790.9million as imprest, N1.956billion on Lassa Fever, N900m on Authorized Service and N220m on upkeep.
Others are N85.6million on international travels, N1.121billion on public initiatives communication, N744million on safety, N8.8billion on staffing-related cost and N248million on stakeholders’ engagement from February 18 to Could 31, 2020.
President Muhammadu Buhari final Saturday named NDDC Performing Government Director, Finance and Administration, Mr Effiong Okon Akwa, because the fee’s interim administrator.
The Presidency attributed the sack of the Pondei-led IMC to the plethora of litigation and a restraining court docket order.
Additionally yesterday, the Watchdog for Progressive Ijaw (WPI) appealed to stakeholders in Ijaw ethnic nationality against the appointment of Akwa to sheathe their swords.
Its Coordinator, Lambart Olambo, mentioned Ijaw was not in opposition to the appointment of Akwa having understood the explanations behind the choice.
Olambo, in a press release, mentioned President Buhari desired to offer the NDDC a brand new starting, which might take impact after the continued forensic audit of the fee.
He mentioned: “Opposite to claims in some quarters, Akwa was not appointed by the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio. He was straight given the job by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Our inquiries revealed that President Buhari believes in cleansing up the NDDC and giving it a recent and new starting. It was because of this the President initiated the forensic audit of the fee.
“The President initially appointed an IMC, which trusted the Ministry of Niger Delta to entry the funds reserved for NDDC. Following allegations of graft and different problems with mismanagement in opposition to the IMC, the President dissolved it.
“However for the reason that goals of appointing the IMC couldn’t be realised, the President opted for the appointment of a sole administrator to conclude the forensic audit.
“After the conclusion of the audit, the President will instantly revert to the standard technique of administering the NDDC by constituting a brand new board.”