The Niger Delta Rights Advocates has accused the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission of adopting various strategies to stop the probe of its activities by the National Assembly.
According to the NDRA, the shutting down of NDDC headquarters on Thursday following the death of the agency’s Acting Director of Finance and Administration, Ibanga Bassey Etang, was a ploy to frustrate the investigation of a missing N40bn by the lawmakers.
In a statement on Thursday, spokesperson for the group, Darlington Nwauju, said, “We received with surprise the shutdown of the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt by the Interim Management Committee.
“We believe this latest ploy is to divert attention from the probe of N40bn allegedly wasted in just three months by the current IMC.
“The NDRA is alarmed that after the open boasting by the Ag MD of the NDDC, Prof Kema Pondei, last Tuesday on the readiness of the commission to face any form of probe and even accusing chairmen of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on the Niger Delta of corruptly inserting projects into the NDDC's 2019 budget; and with just seven days to the expiration of the advertorials by the HoR investigative committee calling for memoranda on the activities of the NDDC, we fear that shutting down the commission might after all not be in the overall public interest and may lead to underground manoeuvring to abort the impending probe.
“The NDRA therefore calls on the NASS investigative committees not to be deterred by the antics of the IMC but forge ahead to unearth the whereabouts of N40bn of taxpayers money wasted in just within 90 days under the supervision of Senator Godswill Akpabio as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
“Posterity will need to forgive the National Assembly if the accusations and counter-accusations flying around about the activities of the NDDC are not comprehensively investigated and all those involved in the corporate looting of the scarce resources meant for the development of the region are not named, shamed and prosecuted.”