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Group writes IGP, DSS, seeks protection for Acting MD of NDDC


The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has written the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and Director-General of the Directorate of State Services (DSS) to beef up security around the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Joi Nunieh.

In a letter dated January 28, 2020 in Abuja, the group said the forensic probe has made the Acting MD of the commission a target for disgruntled elements who may be found culpable during the probe.

It said the issue of certificates forgery was popping up because Nunieh has inaugurated a 50- man Verification Committee headed by Dr. Cairo Ojougboh to audit and document projects and contracts awarded in the nine Niger Delta states.

The committee was also mandated to ascertain the authenticity or otherwise of certain Interim Payment Certificates (IPCs) paid to contractors, which has placed a debt burden of about N3tr on the commission.

Director of Strategic Communication of CESJET, Abiodun Sodiq Babalola, disclosed that the centre observed that the rage trailing Federal Government’s inauguration of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) sometime in October 2019 to run the NDDC was taking an alarming dimension.

He therefore sought protection from relevant security agencies for the NDDC boss, saying, “We recall that the Committee under Nunieh’s chairmanship was meant to create an enabling environment for the forensic audit of the NDDC with a view to identifying and exposing corrupt practices that have disrupted the original purpose of establishing the commission as an interventionist agency to alleviate the sufferings of the Niger Delta people.

“The forensic audit directed by President Muhammadu Buhari was meant to cover 18 years of the NDDC’s operation. We can confirm that Nunieh has not disappointed the Niger Delta people and the entire country in carrying out her mandate.”

“The success of the committee within a short period is there for every observer to evaluate. Only on December 19, 2019 it was revealed that the committee following a tip-off, discovered the components of a power station worth $34m abandoned at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) premises in Port Harcourt since 2017.

“The equipment was meant for the NDDC Sub-Station in Ekparagwa and Ikot Ekpene in Akwa Ibom State, but had been left unused by a group of politicians turned contractors who would stop at nothing to loot and cripple the Nigerian economy.” Babalola said the CESJET was concerned over Nunieh’s security saying she had become a soft target by the looters and economic saboteurs she has been exposing, urging the DSS to urgently beef up security around her.

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