NDDC IMC Probe: Group commends NASS, demands diligent investigation

A Niger Delta advocacy group, Transparency and Accountability Advancement Group (TAAG) has commended the leadership of both arms of the National Assembly for resolving to investigate the huge fraud taking place in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) currently.

The National Assembly has set up a committee to probe the alleged humongous scam that taking place in the NDDC under the Interim Management Committee (IMC) in just a few months, following an outcry by critical stakeholders in the region.

TAAG in a statement signed by it National President, Comrade Godknows Sotonye said the probe could not have come at a better time, following an alleged plot by the Niger Delta Minister, Chief Godswill Akpabio, and the IMC to destroy the evidence of massive fraud going on under.

The group stated further that the NDDC under Akpabio and the IMC is a “cesspool of corruption where humongous contracts worth billions of naira are awarded without proper bills indicating lot, quality and quantity specifications.”

The also alleged that; “payments have been rigged to systematically sidestep financial regulations in what is an organized scam that makes nonsense of the anti-corruption message of the current Federal Government.

“We invite the Senate and House of Representatives to diligently investigate the activities of the NDDC under the IMC, dispassionately interrogate all payments made without regards to whose ox is gored and unearth the looting of the patrimony of us Niger Deltans by this greedy and crooked band of interventionists who have deceived their way into the office.

ALSO READ: Court slams N1.6m against Police as a damage for right violation in Delta

“While we trust that these committees of the National Assembly as representatives of the people will uphold due process and ensure that the investigation is thorough, above board and transparent, we want to assure them that documentary evidence of these shady contracts and payments are available at the relevant government institutions.

“We are assured that though the IMC has tried to destroy records and pieces of evidence of its fraudulent dealings, the secondary records are still available at the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Senate and House Committees set up to investigate these frauds should request the CBN and the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAGF) to provide the TSA Bank details of the NDDC since the IMC was set up.

“The TSA schedule of payments is the authentic and unadulterated truth of who has been paid what, when and for what. Beyond that, we invite both committees to forensically examine the work of the IMC and determine if this illegal contraption still has a role to play in the repositioning of the NDDC as Akpabio has been insisting on.
We can say without fear of contradiction that the IMC is the proxy of the minister Chief Akpabio through which he lines his pockets using fraudulent contract deals and kickbacks. The IMC is Akpabio’s Special Purpose Vehicle to fleece the NDDC of its resources employing spurious contracts and payments.

THE CASE AGAINST AKPABIO AND HIS IMC:

“Since Akpabio was appointed Minister of Niger Delta and got the illegal IMC into place he has wasted no opportunity in authorising payments for fraudulent contracts, including payments for jobs not yet done such that the bank balance of about N50 billion in the commission’s account at the beginning of this year has been depleted in just a few months. These questionable payments have been made for all kinds of payments, from the Clearing of Water Hyacinth, river De-silting, head office building, medical equipment and supplies, to huge administrative bills for both the minister and his IMC.

“The minister and the IMC have chosen to exploit the current Covid-19 pandemic to make dubious withdrawals for medical equipment and facilities, which have not been delivered on. Particularly worrisome is the approval and payment of billions of naira for the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers and publicity for an unspecified Covid-19 campaign in the Niger Delta states.

“While the minister and the IMC have sought to walk away from the contract award letter, the evidence shows that in a letter dated April 6th 2020 with Reference number NDDC/MD/HPU/20/4/EHSS/05 and signed by the Head of Procurement Unit on behalf of the Acting Managing Director, the IMC wrote to Signoria Concept Services Limited under the heading: ‘Award of Contract for the Emergency Procurement of Specialized Medical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Health Workers and Provision of Community-Based Sensitization Campaign Against the Spread of Covid-19 and other Communicable Diseases in the Nine States of the Niger Delta Region’ at a sum of Five Billion Four Hundred and Seventy Four Million Six Hundred and Forty-Seven Thousand One Hundred Twenty Five Naira(#5,474,647,125.00). On the same day, it awarded another contract with Reference Number NDDC/MD/HPU/20/4/EHSS/02 in the sum of N4.8 billion to Osmoserve Global Limited under the heading ‘Award of Contract for the Emergency Supply and delivery of Medical Equipment and consumables to the NDDC Warehouse, Oroworukwu in Port Harcourt City LGA of Rivers State’ and paid 55 per cent of the contract upfront to the supplier. Other sundry contracts were also made between March and early April in what is clearly a contract armada to fleece the NDDC. For instance, three companies: Tales and Buildings Limited; AHR Limited and Julius Dunga Limited received contracts and upfront payments of about N2 billion each, for the same purported Covid-19 contract Armada.

ALSO READ: Delta Govt Announces No Face Mask, No Movement Rule

“The above is in addition to N1.045 billion spent in early March for what the Commission called support to the nine states of the zone and as part payment for the establishment of Covid-19 isolation centres in each of the 27 senatorial zones in the region. Yet there are no NDDC-funded isolation centres in all of the 27 senatorial districts across the region. What is clearly apparent is that the minister and the IMC are exploiting the current Covid-19 health pandemic to loot the lean resources of the NDDC.

“It is without a doubt that the excuses by Akpabio for not having a Governing Board in line with the NDDC Act are more sinister than have been canvassed by him and this should be reversed also for fully transparent management of the NDDC and its assets. The country cannot afford to have a thieving minister and management in place at the NDDC, not at this time when Government finances are low and the people of the region need state intervention. The government must restore accountability and transparency by immediately suspending the minister and disbanding the IMC.

“Clearly, the minister and the IMC have shown an overwhelming desire to loot the NDDC and have overstayed their welcome. There should be no place for such corruptive sharp practices at the Commission or anywhere else, and we demand that the federal government dismiss Akpabio and the IMC without further delay.

“We hail the decision of both houses of the National Assembly to investigate the IMC and Akpabio and call for the repatriation of all illegal withdrawals and payments that have been made from the NDDC under the IMC. We reiterate our position that the IMC be dissolved because it has no place in the NDDC Act and is a proxy for Akpabio’s fraudulent schemes, and call for the inauguration of a substantive Board for the NDDC because it is the proper thing to do.”

 

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NDDC IMC Probe: Group commends NASS, demands diligent investigation

A Niger Delta advocacy group, Transparency and Accountability Advancement Group (TAAG) has commended the leadership of both arms of the National Assembly for resolving to investigate the huge fraud taking place in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) currently.

The National Assembly has set up a committee to probe the alleged humongous scam that taking place in the NDDC under the Interim Management Committee (IMC) in just a few months, following an outcry by critical stakeholders in the region.

TAAG in a statement signed by it National President, Comrade Godknows Sotonye said the probe could not have come at a better time, following an alleged plot by the Niger Delta Minister, Chief Godswill Akpabio, and the IMC to destroy the evidence of massive fraud going on under.

The group stated further that the NDDC under Akpabio and the IMC is a “cesspool of corruption where humongous contracts worth billions of naira are awarded without proper bills indicating lot, quality and quantity specifications.”

The also alleged that; “payments have been rigged to systematically sidestep financial regulations in what is an organized scam that makes nonsense of the anti-corruption message of the current Federal Government.

“We invite the Senate and House of Representatives to diligently investigate the activities of the NDDC under the IMC, dispassionately interrogate all payments made without regards to whose ox is gored and unearth the looting of the patrimony of us Niger Deltans by this greedy and crooked band of interventionists who have deceived their way into the office.

ALSO READ: Court slams N1.6m against Police as a damage for right violation in Delta

“While we trust that these committees of the National Assembly as representatives of the people will uphold due process and ensure that the investigation is thorough, above board and transparent, we want to assure them that documentary evidence of these shady contracts and payments are available at the relevant government institutions.

“We are assured that though the IMC has tried to destroy records and pieces of evidence of its fraudulent dealings, the secondary records are still available at the Central Bank of Nigeria. The Senate and House Committees set up to investigate these frauds should request the CBN and the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAGF) to provide the TSA Bank details of the NDDC since the IMC was set up.

“The TSA schedule of payments is the authentic and unadulterated truth of who has been paid what, when and for what. Beyond that, we invite both committees to forensically examine the work of the IMC and determine if this illegal contraption still has a role to play in the repositioning of the NDDC as Akpabio has been insisting on.
We can say without fear of contradiction that the IMC is the proxy of the minister Chief Akpabio through which he lines his pockets using fraudulent contract deals and kickbacks. The IMC is Akpabio’s Special Purpose Vehicle to fleece the NDDC of its resources employing spurious contracts and payments.

THE CASE AGAINST AKPABIO AND HIS IMC:

“Since Akpabio was appointed Minister of Niger Delta and got the illegal IMC into place he has wasted no opportunity in authorising payments for fraudulent contracts, including payments for jobs not yet done such that the bank balance of about N50 billion in the commission’s account at the beginning of this year has been depleted in just a few months. These questionable payments have been made for all kinds of payments, from the Clearing of Water Hyacinth, river De-silting, head office building, medical equipment and supplies, to huge administrative bills for both the minister and his IMC.

“The minister and the IMC have chosen to exploit the current Covid-19 pandemic to make dubious withdrawals for medical equipment and facilities, which have not been delivered on. Particularly worrisome is the approval and payment of billions of naira for the supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers and publicity for an unspecified Covid-19 campaign in the Niger Delta states.

“While the minister and the IMC have sought to walk away from the contract award letter, the evidence shows that in a letter dated April 6th 2020 with Reference number NDDC/MD/HPU/20/4/EHSS/05 and signed by the Head of Procurement Unit on behalf of the Acting Managing Director, the IMC wrote to Signoria Concept Services Limited under the heading: ‘Award of Contract for the Emergency Procurement of Specialized Medical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Health Workers and Provision of Community-Based Sensitization Campaign Against the Spread of Covid-19 and other Communicable Diseases in the Nine States of the Niger Delta Region’ at a sum of Five Billion Four Hundred and Seventy Four Million Six Hundred and Forty-Seven Thousand One Hundred Twenty Five Naira(#5,474,647,125.00). On the same day, it awarded another contract with Reference Number NDDC/MD/HPU/20/4/EHSS/02 in the sum of N4.8 billion to Osmoserve Global Limited under the heading ‘Award of Contract for the Emergency Supply and delivery of Medical Equipment and consumables to the NDDC Warehouse, Oroworukwu in Port Harcourt City LGA of Rivers State’ and paid 55 per cent of the contract upfront to the supplier. Other sundry contracts were also made between March and early April in what is clearly a contract armada to fleece the NDDC. For instance, three companies: Tales and Buildings Limited; AHR Limited and Julius Dunga Limited received contracts and upfront payments of about N2 billion each, for the same purported Covid-19 contract Armada.

ALSO READ: Delta Govt Announces No Face Mask, No Movement Rule

“The above is in addition to N1.045 billion spent in early March for what the Commission called support to the nine states of the zone and as part payment for the establishment of Covid-19 isolation centres in each of the 27 senatorial zones in the region. Yet there are no NDDC-funded isolation centres in all of the 27 senatorial districts across the region. What is clearly apparent is that the minister and the IMC are exploiting the current Covid-19 health pandemic to loot the lean resources of the NDDC.

“It is without a doubt that the excuses by Akpabio for not having a Governing Board in line with the NDDC Act are more sinister than have been canvassed by him and this should be reversed also for fully transparent management of the NDDC and its assets. The country cannot afford to have a thieving minister and management in place at the NDDC, not at this time when Government finances are low and the people of the region need state intervention. The government must restore accountability and transparency by immediately suspending the minister and disbanding the IMC.

“Clearly, the minister and the IMC have shown an overwhelming desire to loot the NDDC and have overstayed their welcome. There should be no place for such corruptive sharp practices at the Commission or anywhere else, and we demand that the federal government dismiss Akpabio and the IMC without further delay.

“We hail the decision of both houses of the National Assembly to investigate the IMC and Akpabio and call for the repatriation of all illegal withdrawals and payments that have been made from the NDDC under the IMC. We reiterate our position that the IMC be dissolved because it has no place in the NDDC Act and is a proxy for Akpabio’s fraudulent schemes, and call for the inauguration of a substantive Board for the NDDC because it is the proper thing to do.”

 

Share this news

Subscribe to the Advocate News letter and receive news updates daily in your inbox.

Check Also

Corruption, extortion scandal rocks colleges of nursing in Delta, students send SOS to Gov. Oborevwori

…Managements jacks up Basic Council requirement fees by over 300% …Admission racketeering assuming worrisome dimension  …

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