Deji Elumoye in Abuja
Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, has faulted the submission of the forensic audit report on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the Attorney-General of the Federation(AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
The report was received last week from the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, by Malami on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Frank in a statement issued yesterday described the action as subterfuge by Akpabio to keep the real findings of the forensic auditors from the president.
He wondered why Malami should receive a report of a committee he did not constitute.
According to him, “The last time I checked, Malami was not the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) or the Chief of Staff to the President. Do we now have ‘super ministers’ superintending over other ministers within Buhari’s cabinet? Or is Malami the much talked about ‘unelected alternate President’ in the Villa?
“If this macabre drama between Akpabio and Malami was not orchestrated to undermine Buhari, then what was it meant to achieve? Let the AGF publish a memo, if any, by which Buhari directed him to receive the report from Akpabio or let Akpabio publish the president’s memo, if any, that mandated him to handover the report to the AGF. Buhari was not only in town the day Akpabio danced naked in the name of transmitting the forensic report to the AGF, he was equally hale and hearty.”
Frank alleged that Akpabio in cohorts with Malami have decided to take the president for a ride by deliberately bypassing him on matters relating to the NDDC as made clear in their refusal to hand the forensic audit report to Buhari.
He, therefore, called on Buhari to urgently reconstitute the board of the NDDC in order to have direct and unhindered access to the funds of the commission allocated primarily for the development of the Niger Delta region.
Akpabio also urged the president to immediately recall the report and subject it to thorough analysis by industry experts with a view to ensuring that the true content of the report, undertaken with taxpayers’ money, is made available to Nigerians, particularly, the people of Niger Delta region long subjugated and denied their statutory right by Akpabio.