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NDDC: N/Delta agitators back NASS over 40bn probe

By Appolos Christian

ABUJA-NigerDelta agitators have thrown their weight behind the National Assembly’sdecision to probe Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC over allegation ofN40 billion misappropriation.

In astatement, Sunday, the agitators also called for the dissolution of InterimManagement Committee, IMC of the Commission, alleging that it has mismanagedthe fortunes of the agency.

Thestatement signed by John Duku of the Niger Delta Watchdogs and 12 others alsosupported the forensic audit of the Commission’s account.

Thestatement read: “We give our total support to the National Assembly forthe planned probe of the NDDC’s Interim Management Committee for its allegedillegal and unapproved expenditure of a whopping sum of N40 billion within aperiod of just three months. As far as we are concerned, this probe iscompletely different from the forensic audit of the Commission for the past 19years of its existence. If the preceding leaderships of the Commission hadembarked on this outrageous level of spending, the Commission which is evenstill hanging in the balance today, would have been history now. If there isany lawmaker who has any skeleton in the cupboard concerning the rot in theCommission, those who are flexing muscles now and trading words with thelawmakers, especially members of the IMC, should open up and let Nigeriansknow. But the probe of the N40billion must go on as planned.

“Theforensic audit of the NDDC will be well applauded if it is allowed to beindependently carried not minding whose ox is gored.

“Wecondemn the appointment of an Interim Management Committee to run the affairsof the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) during the period of itsforensic audit, as we strongly believe, and is now observed, that this is anavenue for illegal funds transfer, contracts racketeering, and outrightmisappropriation of funds meant for the development of the region.

“We,therefore, call for the immediate dissolution of the Interim Committee andinauguration of an authentic and substantive Board for the Niger DeltaDevelopment Commission. Presently manned by five individuals, the Committeelacks the capacity to operate on the mandate of the Commission and cannotsatisfy the nine states making up the regional body since not all the statesare represented on the Committee. We cannot therefore continue to keep silentand behave as if all is well with the Commission.”

Theagitators also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a substantiveNational Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, saying it wouldcurb the maladministration currently going on in the place.

“Inthe absence of a substantive Special Adviser/National Coordinator, PresidentialAmnesty Programme, a similar rot/ level of corruption is being witnessed in theAmnesty Office. We, therefore, demand that the President should immediatelyappoint a new National Coorinator, on the recommendation of the NationalSecurity Adviser, to ensure that sanity returns to the establishment”, thestatement stated.

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