NDDC sends workers on leave over forensic audit
Unspecified staffers of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) who may compromise the forensic audit of the commission have been placed on mandatory leave pending the conclusion and outcome of the exercise.
NDDC Director, Corporate Affairs, Charles Odili, in a statement yesterday, hinged the move on the advice of the lead consultant on the forensic audit exercise, which had been accepted by the Interim Management Committee (IMC).
The members of staff sent on mandatory leave by the commission, according to Odili, included those indicted by security agencies like the police, ICPC and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for acts of impropriety, those whose acts are the subject of investigations by the forensic auditors and those who held key and sensitive positions in the commission during the period covered by the forensic audit and whose continued presence in the commission may interfere, impair, undermine or compromise the objective forensic auditing of the affairs of the commission.
Meanwhile, amid criticism that the forensic audit might turn out a ruse, a group, the Niger Delta Justice and Peace Forum (NDJPF), has accused some contractors and vested interests of attempting to truncate the forensic audit of the NDDC.
In a statement signed by the group’s Co-ordinator, Kenneth Adagogo and Secretary, Ambrose Komie, they alleged that some prominent contractors working with some recently redeployed members of staff of the NDDC were behind the scheme to thwart the audit.
Meanwhile, the Isoko Nation Youth Congress (INYC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to disband the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC and direct the inauguration of a substantive board for the commission.
It said that the delay in installing the new management team for the intervention agency was a contravention of the Act establishing the commission, urging the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate alleged corrupt practices in the agency.
In a statement by the apex Isoko youths body signed by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Lawson Abanum, they stated that over six months after the IMC was set up, the NDDC had gone from one scandal to another, hence the need to disband the committee.
Besides, President of the group, Godstime Akokotu, who also expressed his view on the issue, said: “There have been consistent calls on the Presidency to revert itself by doing the right thing, which is obeying the Act establishing the commission. A bad precedent is being enshrined into the Niger Delta interventionist agency by flouting and abusing the spirit and the letters in the Act establishing the commission.
On his part, the Secretary-General the IYNC, Paul Tutu Erero, urged the immediate dissolution of the IMC for inefficient and corrupt practices levelled against it from inception, adding that the interim committee from inception had been in the middle of one controversy, corruption or the other and that there is no confidence reposed on members of the IMC.
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