House Committee On NDDC Summons Akpabio, Pondei
The House Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has summoned the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godswill Akpabio, to appear and make presentations before it on Monday, July 20, 2020.
The committee also summoned the Managing Director of the NDDC, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei to appear before it on the same day.
This comes after the former MD of the NDDC, Joy Nunieh, on Friday gave her testimony at the House Committee on Public Hearing via zoom.
Ms. Nunieh was billed to appear before the committee on Thursday but her house was besieged by some security agents, hindering her from making a physical appearance.
Speaking at the hearing, Ms. Nunieh told the lawmakers that the siege on her residence was an attempt to prevent her from testifying before the panel.
In her presentation she defended herself against allegations of corruption, arguing that there was no contractor that paid bribes.
She further debunked allegations of fraud and attempts to filibuster the Commission, adding that she did not touch funds meant for the Niger Delta People.
Following the development, the committee resolved to summon Mr. Pondei after he had angered the lawmakers by walking out on them on Thursday at an investigative hearing put together by the House of Representatives.
Mr. Pondei in his response said the Commission cannot partake in an investigative hearing which is being presided over by the chairman of the committee who has been accused by the NDDC of hijacking the Commission’s projects.
Professor Pondei was of the opinion that the NDDC will not get a fair hearing and refused to make presentations before the committee.
The NDDC’s action however prompted the committee to issue a warrant of arrest compelling Professor Pondei to appear before the lawmakers and make a proper submission.
The House of Representatives is carrying out an investigation into alleged mismanagement of funds by the current interim management committee (IMC) of the NDDC.
According to allegations, the interim management of the NDDC has mishandled about N40billion.
Amid the controversy, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a speedy and coordinated investigation into the corruption scandal in the NDDC.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.
He explained that the President gave the directive for better coordination among security and investigating agencies with the National Assembly.
Shehu believes this will ensure that the effort of the present administration to bring sanity, transparency, and accountability to the management of the large number of resources dedicated to the development of the Niger Delta sub-region is not derailed.
He stated that the President has noted the unfolding drama, including attacks and counterattacks between and around persons, institutions, and the NDDC.