Act For Positive Transformation Initiative, a non-governmental organisation, has challenged President Muhammadu Buhari to stop the looting ongoing at the Niger Delta Development Commission to prove he is truly fighting corruption.
Series of looting and financial misappropriation have been exposed in the NDDC with the Acting Managing Director, Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei, and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, unable to defend the spending of the commission.
Recall that Pondei had fainted during a public hearing to explain the financial misappropriation in the commission.
With deafening silence of the Presidency on the corruption and massive looting in the NDDC, AFPTI has urged the President to investigate and stop the looting of funds.
Kolawole Johnson, Head of Directorate of Research, Strategy and Programme of the group, said it was discouraging to suspect that government's body language appears to be promoting, rewarding and protecting corruption in the NDDC.
Johnson stated that despite public outcry, the NDDC had continued to suspend money without budgetary process.
“The commission had gone ahead to squander additional N9bn thereafter in the last one month.
“This includes reckless spendthrift of N5.8bn on fraudulent emergency desilting on the 29th of July, 2020 alone when the nation was on holidays,” he said.
He listed some of the illegal spendings as emergency clearing and desilting of Ipinle Ajenrela creek, Igbokoda (lot 3) –N634,761,500; emergency clearing and desilting of Akaibiri creek, Yenagoa – 634,761,500; emergency clearing and desilting of blocked canal from Ilaje High School Naval Base fishing Terminal, Igbokoda (Lot1) – 634,761,500.
Urging President Buhari to take action against NDDC and anyone found culpable in the massive looting of funds in the commission, the group said, “We call on President Muhammadu Buhari, the National Assembly and genuine security and anti-corruption agency to immediately freeze the accounts of the commission and apprehend everyone involved in the continuous scandalous pillaging of the agency’s treasury.
“It gladdens the heart to note that some of the commission’s officials are already refunding part of their loot to the government's recovery coffer.
“The Presidency also pre-emptively disowned the commission’s management over the latter’s impunity in extra budgetary spending yet ongoing.
“However, decisive steps must be taken urgently to end the audacious and unprecedented looting under a government that professes to be fighting corruption.”