NDDC: Leave spurious claims, respond to alleged sleaze, CSO tells ex MD

Immediate past Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ms Joi Nunieh has been urged to focus on the facts as she responds to weighty allegation of sleazes under her watch while at the Commission.

This will enable the investigation by the National Assembly to get to the root of the matter with a view of saving the nation from a similar situation in the future.

Ms Joi Nunieh was the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission between October 2019 and February 2020, a period she allegedly spent over N22bn recklessly, a figure she disputed and said she only invited expenditure of an N8bn only.

Peoples Alliance for Indigenous Rights, PAIR, an Abuja based Civil Society organisation raised this concern over what it termed a show of shame by some ex-officials of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, on their wild allegations.

Iriogbe Emmanuel, coordinator, and James Okoronkwo, national secretary of Peoples Alliance for Indigenous Right, in a joint press conference in Abuja called on the House of Reps and Ms Nuneih to allow the forensic audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari, rather than engage in media trial.

Nunieh had appeared before the twin chamber of the National Assembly to explain her role in the alleged reckless spending to defend her period in which she alleged that the Minister of Niger Delta Ministry, Governor Godswill Akpabio was overbearing in his demands from the Commission bidding she did not execute.

She alleged that this was part of the reason the Minister facilitated the attacks in her leading to her subsequent exit from the Board.

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PAIR insisted that the former MD should provide the commission with her spendings and not distract the investigation with allegations she cannot prove.

The statement reads in part: “We have since observed the unfortunate drama playing out in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and wish to state that facts have become obscured as the dramatic and playing to the gallery has taken centre stage.

“If those, especially Ms Joy Nuneih, a former Managing Director of the NDDC, were out to expose corruption as have been alleged by them, then this unnecessary orchestrated drama would not be part of the “fact-finding” by the House of Reps.

“It is regrettable that those who parade themselves as saints are in themselves mired deep in rot, therefore, the determination to smear others with mud.

“Also, it is pertinent to state that in all of the shouting, puffing and huffing, Ms Nuneih is yet to tender any document to the House of Reps, who by the way the chairman of the house committee on NDDC, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, is enmeshed in corruption allegation of having benefitted with a 17km road contract.

“While it is not cast in stone that some things may have gone wrong, Ms Nuneih and her co-travellers should allow the forensic audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari go on. It is only proper that any grievances and allegations of wrongdoing should be channelled to the audit panel and not the red herring all over the place.

“The new management of the NDDC, the Interim Management Committee and Minister of the Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio, should be allowed some breathing space to reposition a terribly battered commission,” PAIR stated.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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