THE ongoing investigative hearing into the allegations bordering on misappropriation of N81.5 billion by the management of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) was temporarily halted on Monday after the acting managing director of the commission, Professor Daniel Pondei fainted and was rushed out of the National Assembly Complex for medical attention.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), however, said the “dramatic collapse” of the acting managing director while being grilled by the House of Representatives committee underscores the weight of corruption that has bedevilled the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
It took the intervention of some stakeholders to resuscitate Pondei who fainted around 12.49 p.m. while the committee had to adjourn sitting for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, two sponsored protester groups clashed at the entrance of the National Assembly while the investigative hearing was ongoing.
The group supporting the National Assembly probe, known as the Emerging Leaders Forum of Nigeria clashed with the group backing the NDDC and Akpabio against the probe, which is Niger Delta Development Initiative. Speaking on the development, the PDP said it was obvious that the embattled NDDC acting managing director collapsed under the weight and shame of overwhelming collective guilt brought on him by the exposure of massive corruption being perpetrated by NDDC officials and APC leaders.
In a statement signed by the party’s national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said: “It is revealing that Pondei could go no further in the face of scathing revelations of direct pillaging of resources meant for the development and welfare of the Niger Delta people, in an unbridled corruption racket, in which the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, also stands accused.”
The party asked Nigerians to recall that the embattled NDDC boss had, last week, stalled proceedings by challenging the legislators and walking out on the House of Representatives investigative panel. The statement read: “The the situation in the NDDC is just a tip of the iceberg on the humongous corruption, looting spree and concealments going on in ministries, departments and agencies of government being perpetrated by APC leaders and their cronies.
“Our party restates our submission to President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately suspend the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Akpabio, as well as disband the NDDC interim management committee if he indeed desires the coordinated probe he ordered to yield any credible results.
The party urged President Buhari to note that the people of the Niger Delta region, who are being deprived of their welfare, is following the development with keen interest.
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