Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, has washed his hands off the 11 companies allegedly linked to him for the collection of contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2016.
NDDC had accused Nwaoboshi, of looting N3.6 billion from the commission and called on the senator to step down as Chairman of the Senate Committee on NDDC.
The commission said the senator used 11 companies owned by or traceable to him to collect contracts worth the amount in 2016.
“It is perhaps the biggest single case of looting of the commission’s resources”, NDDC said in a statement signed by its Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Charles Odili.
But in a swift reaction, the senator has refuted the claims that he collected contracts from the NDDC with 11 different companies without executing them .
He said the allegations were nothing but national embarrassment that must stop.
According to him, none of all the 11 companies listed belong to him as far as records at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) are concerned.
He challenged the NDDC officials to substantiate their allegations with required documents implicating him as evidence if they have.
“The smear campaign and character assassination of people perceived to be stumbling blocks against the rot in NDDC over the years must stop in the national interest”, he added.
The statement signed by Nwaoboshi’s Special Assistant on Legislative and Media Affairs, Mr. Luka Igbonoba, said “the charade in the past weeks by the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission to blackmail a routine task of the National Assembly to perform its oversight function as stated in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has no doubt become a national embarrassment.
“More so is the uncharitable and condemnable low of smear campaigns against members of the institution, churning out blatant lies that are easily verifiable. The latest, been a press release signed by a supposed civil servant, on allegations that are completely false and unfounded.
“They listed 11 companies and ascribed ownership to Senator Peter Nwaboshi. These are companies that he does not know nor had anything to do with. A simple search at Corporate Affairs Commission will, at least, show both former and present directors. How do you libelously claim a man owns companies that perhaps belong to other people?
“Apparently, the officials might have generated names of companies they have probably used to siphon the peoples common patrimony, everyone involved must face the wrath of the law as it is expected that due diligence should precede any contract award. In any case, if the contracts were actually awarded in 2016 as alleged, the forensic audit which covers the period is expected to expose every detail surrounding these contracts and save the public from this shameless falsehood”.