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NCDMB boss denies operating foreign bank account, flays CNPP, CSOs

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
24 January 2022   |   4:02 am
Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, has denied operating a foreign bank account.

ES NCDMB, Engr. Wabote Simbi. Photo; TWITTER/OFFICIALNCDMB<br />

Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, has denied operating a foreign bank account.

While reacting to a 21-day ultimatum to him to resign over alleged corruption allegations by the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) and a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the Manager, Corporate Communication of NCDMB, Esueme Dan Kikile, said the accuser, Jackson Udeh, has not been able to prove that Wabote indeed operates a foreign bank account.

He said: “For the avoidance of doubt, Mr. Wabote has categorically stated that he does not operate any foreign account and there is no evidence to the contrary. So, if Udeh has evidence of a foreign account, the onus is on him to prove his case. This is the law in Nigeria and even in the United States; he who alleges, bears the burden to prove.”

Kikile held that Nigerians consider the CNPP a veritable alternative voice and that NCDMB was therefore surprised that it had been hoodwinked into being used for insidious activity.

“Indeed, our expectation is for CNPP and the CSOs to commend Wabote for seeking redress through legal means, using the instrumentality of the judicial process, as this is what CSOs advocate in every clime,” he said.

Kikile described the call for Wabote to step aside as “completely disingenuous” and lacking in merit and should not be taken seriously by any group, organisation, or person, adding: “We implore CNPP and any reasonable coalition of CSOs to get the facts of the defamation case rather than allowing itself to be used as a vessel of misinformation.”

“For the avoidance of doubt, it was Wabote in his personal capacity that dragged Jackson Udeh to court in the United States because the latter published an injurious article where he accused Wabote of taking a bribe for the award of the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Train 7 project. Wabote was outraged by that malicious and unfounded accusation that he vowed to seek legal redress to vindicate himself and preserve his hard-earned reputation.

“Wabote approached the United States court because Jackson Udeh has no known address in Nigeria and all previous attempts to bring him to justice for years of blackmail and falsehood against other senior government officials, had failed. In fact, Jackson Udeh sneered and challenged Wabote to institute the case in the United States if he felt sufficiently aggrieved.”

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