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Group accuses Akpabio, IMC of plotting to frustrate NDDC probe

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Probe will vindicate minister, says Ojougboh

Niger Delta Renaissance Coalition (NDRC) has alleged attempts by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, and the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to frustrate the probe of the commission by the National Assembly.

But the Acting Executive Director of Projects, NDDC, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, said the probe of alleged N40 billion spending by the commission would vindicate the minister and the committee.

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The IMC was put in place by President Muhammadu Buhari to oversee the commission while the forensic audit lasted.

Ojougboh, in a statement by the national coordinator his media campaign team, Justice Ovuokeroye, noted that findings of the probe would link and expose saboteurs behind the fraudulent acquisition of stupendous wealth with NDDC funds, adding that the truth would come out from the probe.

National Coordinator of NDRC, Alalibo George, alleged that the former Akwa Ibom State governor and the IMC were sponsoring abusive stories in the media through groups and individuals like the Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum.

He said the self-styled anti-graft campaigner, who led the group, had said during a media briefing that the impending National Assembly probe of Akpabio and the IMC was “chasing shadows” while praising the minister and the IMC as the best things that to ever happen to the NDDC.

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He said, “Indeed, it has become a regular feature that since the Senate and the House of Representatives decided to take up their constitutional oversight duties by setting up committees to probe the reports of fraudulent contracts and payments estimated at N40 billion, perpetrated by Akpabio and the IMC in the NDDC in the last few months, fictitious groups, individuals and public relations butterflies have flooded the public space in a desperate bid by the minister and the IMC to blackmail the National Assembly and stifle the probe.

“These faceless persons and groups have concocted tales that the investigation of the corruption allegations against Akpabio and the IMC is an attack on the Niger Delta, NDDC and the anti-corruption posture of the Buhari regime. More laughable is the claim that the demand to probe the payments by the minister and the IMC is in opposition to the forensic audit of the NDDC. They cannot be farther from the truth.”

The NDRC coordinator e said Niger Deltans could not be fooled into believing that the minister and the IMC members were saints and above board, knowing the corrupt tendencies of some of them.

NDRC urged the National Assembly to be steadfast and not be blackmailed by the distractions that did not represent the views of the Niger Delta people.

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