NDDC stalls Senate panel investigation on alleged sacked staffers
•As committee fixes queries for budget session
It was a long wait for members of the Senator Peter Nwaoboshi-led Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs as they waited in vain for the Professor Keme Pondei-led Interim management committee (IMC) members of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The committee’s investigation was on an alleged unjust sack of some staffers of NDDC which was part of a Senate resolution in a motion sponsored by Senator George Sekibo (Rivers East) to right the wrongs in the commission.
Signs that the IMC members would not appear before the Committee, emerged at about 12:30 pm when none of them was sighted at the venue of the planned investigative hearing in room 022 of the Senate wing of the National Assembly.
Even attempt made by the Committee to ensure the appearance of the IMC members before it two hours after by shifting the sitting to 3:00 pm failed, as none of them appeared at about 3:20 pm when the session resumed.
Irked by the development, the committee chairman, Peter Nwaoboshi, asked the NDDC Director of Human Resources, Silas Anyanwu to offer an explanation for the development.
Anyanwu in his explanation said, the Managing Director of NDDC, Professor Pondei and other IMC members, were held back at the House of Representatives wing of the National Assembly where they were being engaged on a similar investigation.
“For the past two hours sir, I have been communicating with the MD and some other IMC members but information reaching me, indicated that they are not allowed to leave the venue of similar investigation going on in the House of Representatives,” he said.
Apparently not satisfied with the explanation, Senator Nwaoboshi reminded the Human Resources Director that the Monday sitting was the third attempt to get the IMC members to respond to series of petitions written against them by the sacked staffers.
“Even if the MD is held up in the House of Representatives, is there no person from the IMC who has the capacity to represent?” he queried.
Though Anyanwu attempted to make a presentation on behalf of the absentee MD but withdrew when he was asked to sign the unsigned written submissions forwarded to the committee by the IMC.
At that point, the committee members quickly resolved that since tomorrow, Tuesday, July 14, 2020, is the day fixed for 2020 budget defence session for the Commission, the issue of the illegal sacking of staff, will be taken as well.
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