Ex-militants disrupt panel probing alleged corruption in NDDC
Some ex-militants yesterday disrupted the sitting of the panel probing allegations of corruption and contract racketeering in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The former militants, who threatened to manhandle members of the six-man investigation panel headed by the Director of Special Duties, Dr. Ekanem Princewill, claimed they were contractors and accused the commission of excluding them from the investigation process.
Shortly after some contractors, civil society groups, traditional rulers and other stakeholders arrived Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt for the inaugural sitting of the panel members, the ex-militants who threatened violence invaded the venue and insisted that the investigation should not take place.
Trouble started when the ex-militants arrived venue of the panel sitting, but an NDDC official demanded that they produce their letter of invitation, which they were unable to provide.
When they were not being allowed access to the venue, an altercation ensued between the ex-militants and NDDC officials, which almost resulted into full-blown violence. But sensing that crisis was looming, NDDC’s Head of Corporate Affairs, Chijoke Amu-Nnadi attempted to douse tensions but his efforts yielded no results as the militants threatened him.
NDDC Managing Director, Nsima Ekere, had last month set up a six-man panel to investigate the allegations of corruption in the commission. Meanwhile, the Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC) yesterday cautioned the Federal Government on plan to source for foreign investors for the modular refineries in the Niger Delta as against using local operators, saying it will spell doom for the country.