‘Unacceptable for president who vowed to fight graft’
President Muhammadu Buhari has come under fire for refusing “to act, several days after incontrovertible revelations and confessions by the Interim Management Committee” of fraud at the Niger a Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“Extra-budgetary expenditure, abuse of procurement laws and mismanagement” at the NDDC” were also pointed out by Transparency and Accountability Advancement Group which said: “President Muhammadu Buhari cannot afford to ignore the detailed Senate report and resolutions on the IMC, if he is really serious about his anti-corruption agenda.
“The president’s failure to act promptly and decisively since the exposures seemed to have emboldened the IMC to continue their activities.”
Backdating of contract offers and illegal payments were also alleged by
In a statement by Damian Nwikinaka, Director of Information and Strategy, the group said: “It is horrendous that such barefaced stealing will go on without the
surgical intervention of the President, Daily Times gathered.
Is Mr. President now comfortable with corruption under the IMC or is his anti-corruption posture simply a joke as Akpabio and the IMC are making it out?
“For a president that came into office on a strong anti-corruption agenda, this falls way off the mark. Nigerians are alarmed by the inaction of the president and are losing faith in his leadership. President Buhari cannot continue to act like all is well at the NDDC under the IMC.
He should take a decision on these issues that have been critically examined
and highlighted in the Senate report and the Senate resolutions. These
resolutions reflect the wishes and desires of the Niger Delta people,
and Nigerians generally, on the way forward for the NDDC.
“President Buhari should restore accountability at the commission by dissolving the IMC, implementing the other resolutions of the Senate and directing the anti corruption agencies to prosecute all persons indicted.
“The Committee carried out extensive investigation of the allegations of malfeasance against the IMC.
It got the Commission’s account statement with theCentral Bank of Nigeria, received presentations from the CBN, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Office of the Auditor General of the Federation, the Bureau for Public Procurement and other relevant government agencies, as well as confessional statements, both oral and written from the IMC members, showing how the NDDC IMC blew N81.5 billion in just a couple of months on fictitious contracts, frivolities, and in breach of extant financial and public procurement laws.
“Indeed, Nigerians are eagerly awaiting the action of Mr. President on the worrisome on-going contract scams, financial recklessness, corruption, abuse of office and mismanagement being perpetrated at the NDDC.
President Buhari cannot continue to act like humongous corruption has become the synonym for his Government.
When he was asked recently what he thought of the ongoing revelations of corruption at the EFCC and NDDC, the president said that some of his appointees have abused trust by misusing their offices for their self-aggrandisement.”
The group noted that despite the offences, Buhari is delaying action and
emboldening Niger Delta minister, Chief Godswill Akpabio, and the IMC “as was clearly exposed during the National Assembly investigations as part of their oversight duty.”
It added: “In the 121-page report, which was adopted as a resolution of the Senate, the Senate Committee found that the IMC, which is headed by Prof Daniel Keme Pondei as Acting Managing Director, made withdrawals in the name of contracts
that could not be verified.
These fictitious contract payments ran into billions of naira. It therefore recommended that the IMC should refund the sum of N4.923 Billion to the Federation Account.
“Among the payments made, the Senate discovered that the Pondeiled IMC on April 15, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown paid out N1.96 billion purportedly for the procurement of Lassa Fever Personal Protection kits purportedly for the
185 LGAs of the NDDC states.
Yet, the IMC, which said rather strangely that it used staff of the NDDC to distribute
them, could not produce evidence of delivery of these kits to any of the 185
“Everything spoke to the fact that this was a fictitious unexecuted contract, which was used to steal and launder money from the NDDC.
The IMC failed to provide a single name of at least one recipient out of the 185 LGAs to whom the kits were purportedly handed over.
It was self evident that the fictitious contract, which was paid for by the IMC on April 15, 2020, was a conduit to steal the said N1.96 billion.”
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