Senate sets up committee to probe alleged N40bn fraud in NDDC

Senate sets up committee to probe alleged N40bn fraud in NDDC

- The National Assembly has launched an investigation into the allegation of N40 billion fraud against the NDDC

- The Senate set up a 7-man committee to investigate how the money was allegedly squandered within three months

- The ad-hoc committee was given a month to look into the financial transactions and report back to the upper chamber

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Following an allegation of N40 billion fraud against the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the National Assembly on Tuesday, May 5, passed a resolution to investigate the claim.

This is coming after Senator Thompson Sekibo, the chairman of the Senate committee on Navy, debated the motion which he sponsored on how the IMC spent N40 billion within three months, ThisDay reports.

In the motion entitled “urgent need to investigate alleged financial recklessness in the Niger Delta Development Commission,” Sekibo alleged that reports from the commission disclosed financial recklessness.

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Therefore, the Senate raised a seven-member ad-hoc committee headed by Senator Olubunmi Adetunbi to look into the allegation.

N’Assembly Investigates Alleged N40bn Fraud in NDDC

N’Assembly Investigates Alleged N40bn Fraud in NDDC
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The ad-hoc committee was given a month to look into the financial transactions carried out on behalf of the NDDC and report back to the Senate.

Members of the committee are Senators Jika Dauda Haliru (APC Bauchi Central), Mohammed Tanko Almakura (APC Nasarawa South), Abdulfatai Buhari (APC Oyo North), Chukwuka Utazi (PDP Enugu North), Ibrahim Hadeija (APC Jigawa North East) and Degi-Eremienyo Biobarakuma (APC Bayelsa East).

Sekibo explained that though IMC was set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to co-ordinate forensic audit of financial transactions, reports emanating indicated financial recklessness by the new management.

The senator added that aside from financial recklessness by IMC, it also indulged in an alleged arbitrary sack of the management staff of the commission.

He said: “The IMC has been more bedeviled with the same financial misuse, misapplication, misappropriation or outright fraud in the management of the funds of the commission.

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“Within the last three months, the commission has spent over N40 billion of the commission’s fund without recourse to established processes of fund disbursements, which has opened up further suspicion among stakeholders of the Niger Delta Region.”

However, Senator Godswill Akpabio, the minister of Niger Delta affairs and the IMC were summoned by the lower chamber to explain to the House the plan of the commission to ameliorate the effect of the present economic situation on the region.

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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the NDDC denied reports of the award of COVID-19 procurement contract to a private firm.

A media report had accused the commission of awarding the sum of N5,474,647,125.00 for the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers and provision of community-based sensitization campaign against the spread of COVID-19 in the region.

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The commission in a statement described the purported award letter signed by one Alex Ndudi Enebeli as fake.

In a related development, media reports indicating massive fraud in the NDDC has been dismissed as an act of blackmail.

After the allegations were made by some online media outfits, an influential group led by Comrade Ogakwu Dominic, Civil Society Groups for Good Governance (CSGGG), began a probe on the issue.

The CSGGG reached out to the NDDC to find out the true situation of things, based on its antecedents as an upright civil society organization.

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