Stakeholders insist on NDDC audit, probe of Niger Delta committees
• Omo-Agege denies ordering EFCC to investigate Akpabio
Stakeholders, including the Niger Delta Forum for Equity and Justice, Niger Delta Activists Group and Excellent Leadership Foundation, and the Niger Delta Enterprise Initiative (NDEI), have insisted on the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and investigation of the committees on Niger Delta Affairs in the two chambers of the National Assembly.
They accused some federal lawmakers of plotting to truncate the inventory ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that the “current moves by the National Assembly to institute multiple probes of the commission” were distractions that could prove to be counter-productive to the ongoing efforts to sanitise the interventionist agency.
The National Assembly leadership has, however, assured the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC of its resolve to expose any lawmaker found to have benefitted from the alleged phantom contracts of the commission.
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs Committee, Peter Nwaoboshi, had equally alleged that the panel’s insistence on investigating the commission was why the “IMC members embarked on open media attack against leaders of the National Assembly.”
He had stated: “If they claim that some 1000 jobs were given to any senator, we challenge the IMC members to compile the list of these contracts and publish them. Also, the EFCC, police or ICPC should be reached to investigate those claims instead of blackmailing anybody.”
The chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, had also dismissed the claims as mere blackmail.
Besides, Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege has denied asking the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to probe the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio.
Omo-Agege, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media affairs, Yomi Adenuga, made it clear that a letter said to have emanated from the Clerk of the Senate, acting on his behalf and requesting the chairman of the anti-graft agency, Ibrahim Magu to investigate the minister, was fake.
But yesterday, the Niger Delta Forum for Equity and Justice, through its national coordinator, Kenneth Adagogo, regretted that the forensic audit had attracted so much anger from the leadership of the National Assembly.
The NDEI, which spoke through its president, Kerley George, said the call became necessary in the face of the allegation of contract racketeering in the NDDC levelled against members of both committees of the federal legislature.
To the national coordinator of the Niger Delta Forum for Equity and Justice, Niger Delta Activists Group and Excellent Leadership Foundation, Chief Izzi Yakiah, during a briefing in Yenagoa, the IMC should be arm-twisted by the federal lawmakers, adding that the several threats of inquiries were disruptions that had made the NDDC not to commission projects yet in the region.
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