A group known as the Act for Positive Transformation Initiative, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, National Assembly, anti-graft agencies to immediately freeze the bank accounts of the Nigerian Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The group stated that such measures would put an end to the looting so far witnessed in the commission.
Kolawole Johnson, the group’s Head of Directorate of Research, Strategy and Programme, raised the alarm, while alleging plot by the commission to make secret payments this week.
In a statement, Johnson said despite the alarms of fraud raised, the alleged spending spree at the NDDC has continued unabated.
According to Johnson: “In the last nine months, over 28 professionals have volunteered their time, energy, skills and resources to expose the monumental corruption enduring at the Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC).
While it is discouraging to suspect that government’s body language appears to be promoting, rewarding and protecting corruption in this case, recent development, notwithstanding, shows truth is gradually prevailing.
“Today, again, we inform the Government and all relevant stakeholders, that, we have uncovered another plan by the commission to make some fraudulent secret payments this week that will further set the commission aback.
This same alarm was raised in June, 2020 via a letter to the leadership of the National Assembly that was made public, about 20 Billion Naira was carted away barely one month thereafter (as at July 28th), including payments on desilting against the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, largely due to poor response to the alarm raised.
The details were given in our letter to the President on August 5th, which was released as a briefing for that month.
“The commission has gone ahead to squander additional 9 Billion Naira thereafter, in the last one month. This includes reckless spendthrift of 5.8 Billion Naira on fraudulent emergency desilting on the 29th of July, 2020, alone when the nation was on holiday.
They were so in a hurry that they moved out same amount purportedly for different locations and different scopes of job. i.e Emergency clearing and desilting of Ipinle Ajenrela creek, Igbokoda (lot 3) –N634,761,500.00, Emergency clearing and desilting of Akaibiri creek, Yenagoa – 634,761,500.00, Emergency clearing and desilting of Ilar Creek, Igbokoda (lot 2) – 634,761,500.00, Emergency clearing and desilting of Temetan Creek, Igbokoda (Lot 1) – 634,761,500.00.
Others include: Emergency clearing and distilling of blocked canal from Ilaje High School Naval Base fishing Terminal, Igbokoda (Lot1) – 634,761,500.00, Emergency clearing and desilting of Yewa Creek, Okitipupa (Lot1) – 634,761,500.00, Emergency clearing and desilting of Ipinle Koforawe Creek, Igbokoda (lot 2) –N634,761,500.00.
Then the last on the roll on that same day, Urgent clear desilting of blocked sections of Ibelebiri waterways, Ogbia (lot 2) – 739,071,500.00. Details of all the companies that served as conduit for these payments are readily available. The movement of same disbursements was also not out of traces.
“8th of August, despite the outcry against the “1.5 Billion Naira Palliative to take care of themselves”, the commission abused the nation further by spending another 340 Million Naira (Three Hundred and Forty Million Naira) on self for “EMERGENCY INTERVENTION AGAINST THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS AMONG COMMISSION’S WORKFORCE”.
Every staff or appointee of the commission that received the money into their private accounts should be made to refund.
They are: Okpozo Edgar (23.6 Million), Akopunwane Stanley (23.6 Million), Fobruku Monica (23.6 Million), Oputa Philomena (23.6 Million).
Others are Akpabio Idara (20.96 Million), Margaret Ala (20.96 Million) Okezie Irene (20.96 Million).
Also, Ironbar Linda (20.06 Million), Bello Mary (20.06 Million), Chidinma Lily (20.06 Million), Agala Asela (20.06 Million), Ojigbare Nancy (20.06 Million), Umezuruke Anthony (20.06 Million), Imoni Ahuna (20.06 Million), Anako Ajumoke (12.91 Million).
A senior director in the commission, who was recently led to the bank to refund his share of the scholarship fund surreptitiously looted, also received 25 Million into his private account from the above emergency COVID-19 largesse.
“Many other fraudulent payments were made in the month of August under review, including additional payment of 123 Million Naira to Julius Dinga Ltd, on the 18th of August, bringing the total payment on this singular contract scam to 624 Million Naira to the same company.
”A look at the nominal roll of the commission confirms the alarm on secret employment ongoing in the commission. The management recently employed over 50 contract staff without following civil service rules and guidelines.
“Some of these new intakes without required skills or experience were placed as assistant director without competence test or needs assessment.
“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 government’s recovery coffer.”