NDDC probe: Reps summons Pondei, Alaibe, Nunieh, others

The house of representatives during a plenary
Emeh Joy

In what seems like a fresh probe, the House of Representatives has summoned all serving and former heads of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to account for the alleged billions of naira which have not been accounted for.

The House of Committee on Public Accounts made the summons based on queries issued by the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation on the accounts of the NDDC.

This particular summon is independent of the probe being carried out by the House Committee on the NDDC over alleged illegal spending and mismanagement of funds totalling N81.5bn.

Those summoned to appear before the Committee on Public Accounts to explain the alleged missing funds include the acting Managing Director and Head of the Interim Management Committee, Prof Daniel Pondei; the immediate past acting MD, Dr Joy Nunieha and a former MD, Timi Alaibe.

The committee's Chairman, Mr Wole Oke responding to news reporters on Sunday said the IMC could not answer the queries issued by the OAGF as some of the spendings occurred before it came on board.

The Chairman, House of Representatives on Public Accounts, Mr Wole Oke

"The 2008-2012 auditor's queries were submitted along with 2013-2018 recently. Previous (National) Assembly PAC did not touch it. We have written the NDDC to respond to the queries.

"The NDDC'S IMC appeared once, and they could not defend the queries because, in fairness to them, they were not in office (then). We have asked them to produce those in office that mismanaged the NDDC", Oke said.

Others to appear before the Public Accounts committee include Beniah Ojum, Chibuzo Ugwuoaha, Christian Oboh, Edikan Eshiet, Power Aginigha (late), Esoetek Etteh, Mr Kombowei, Henry Ogiri, Tuoyo Omatsuli, Samuel Adjogbe and Mene Derek.

Former and current IMC members to appear are Joy Nunieh and the Executive Director of Projects, Dr Cairo Ojougboh.

Oke had faulted the plan of ten Federal Government to engage forensic auditors for the NDDC.

He said, "To seek to engage external professional by the FGN simply means lack of trust in the capacity of the Auditor-General of the Federation and his workers. We are simply going to waste money on forensic auditors.

"The National Assembly PACs serve as another layer, pursuant to Section 85 of the Constitution to check and expose corruption. Various statues, if deployed at work, will sanitize NDDC".

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