The Niger Delta Renaissance Coalition (NDRC) has urged the federal government to dismiss the Prof. Keme Pondei-led Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for alleged corrupt practice
The coalition made this call in a statement by its National Coordinator, Mr. Godknows Sotonye yesterday, alleging that NDDC’s interim management had in its own official letter admitted its guilt and had accepted the findings of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee investigating its activities.
The coalition claimed that the interim management should no longer manage the resources of the people in the region through the interventionist agency having accepted the allegations of corruption and financial recklessness at the NDDC.
The statement said the IMC “has in its own official letter admitted its guilt and accepted the findings of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on the allegations of corruption and financial recklessness in NDDC.
“The recommendations were adopted by the Senate in plenary on July 23, to wit: ‘that the IMC be disbanded and made to refund the sum of N4.923 billion and that the substantive Governing Board of the NDDC be sworn in to manage the commission in line with the provisions of the law.
“The committee also recommended that the NDDC be moved back to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) in the presidency for proper supervision to guarantee independence, credibility, transparency and professionalism in the output of the exercise.
“The Senate committee also recommended that the president, with advice from the Auditor General, should appoint a renowned, internationally-recognised forensic auditor to carry out the exercise.”
It claimed that the IMC, by formally writing to former IMC acting Managing Director, Joi Nunieh, “to refund N1.96 billion to the account of the Commission in compliance with the order of the Senate is not only accepting the Senate report.”
It, also, claimed that the IMC “is admitting to its responsibility to refund the balance of N2.963 billion (attributable to the Pondei-led IMC) from the total N4.923 billion, which the Senate directed the IMC to refund to NDDC account. This is clear evidence of admittance of guilt by the Pondei-led IMC.”
With the ‘IMC admission of guilt, according to the statement, Niger Deltans and Nigerians cannot afford to have the interim management committee in office any further. This is a point that stakeholders from the region have agreed on.
The statement said the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and his IMC contraption “have lost the moral right to preside over the affairs of the NDDC.
“The authentic voices of the Niger Delta are very clear in our demands, which are: ‘The IMC is illegal. There is no provision for it in the law establishing the NDDC.
“The IMC must be disbanded immediately because, as an illegal contraption, it serves no functional purpose in the administration of the NDDC. Rather, it has been exposed as a conduit for stealing the lean resources of the NDDC.
“The NDDC Governing Board, which is provided for in line with the law, should be put in place immediately to run the affairs of the commission.”
The coalition, therefore, called the president to heed the Senate resolutions, citing Buhari’s statement encouraging the National Assembly to speedily conclude its investigations for him to make a decision.