- Amid the probe of Niger Delta Development Commission more revelations have emerged
- Kemebradikumo Pondei, the acting MD of the NDDC said the commission was allegedly coerced to pay for contracts to get budget approval
- Pondei the NDDC was held hostage over the years with the annual budget approval by some lawmakers
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Following the ongoing probe into the reckless spending of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) more revelations have emerged.
In a report by The Nation, the commission's acting MD Kemebradikumo Pondei, during the weekend, revealed that NDDC was allegedly coerced to pay for contracts by the National Assembly before its 2019 budget was approved.
Pondei also alleged that over the years some lawmakers especially adhoc committee members held the commission hostage with the budget approval.
The statement signed by Pondei's special adviser on media, Edgar Ebigoni gave a detailed list of the contracts which the National Assembly allegedly compelled the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the commission to pay before having its budget approved.
According to Pondei, the contracts which they were reportedly strong-armed to pay were mostly never done or sometimes, never completed.
He said: “This blackmail scheme explains why the 2019 Budget of the NDDC was passed by the NASS Committee in March, 2020. We are talking about a budget that was billed to expire in May, 2020.
This implication is that the management of the NDDC had only five weeks, to implement the budget of one fiscal year, and present a performance report on the same budget."
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio reportedly linked three former governors to some contracts awarded by the NDDC.
Akpabio had in communique alleged that two governors from Delta state executed some contracts for the commission.
The minister was also reported to have named a former governor of Abia state as a beneficiary of NDDC contracts.
In a related development, NDDC has thrown its weight behind Akpabio's claims that some senators benefitted from the agency's contracts.
Backing the allegations of the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, the NDDC's director of corporate affairs, Charles Odili, said that the list of National Assembly members submitted by Akpabio as awardees of juicy contracts is authentic.
Odili said that the interim management committee of the commission is aware and in support of the said list which is now in the possession of forensic auditors.
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