…says Senator used 11 companies to secure contracts in 2016
The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has accused Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, of looting N3.6bn from the commission and called on the senator to step down as Chairman of the Senate Committee on NDDC.
The commission said the senator used 11 companies owned by or traceable to him to collect contracts worth the amount in 2016.
“It is perhaps the biggest single case of looting of the Commission’s resources”, NDDC said in a statement signed by its Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Charles Odili.
The commission’s position was supported by a group of ex-militants from the region, who called on Nwaoboshi and Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo to immediately step aside as Chairmen of NDDC committees in the National Assembly.
The ex-militants, who met in Port Harcourt under the auspices of the 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience (21st CYNDAC) said the committee chairmen lacked the locus standi to sit on any probe panel involving the commission.
Odili, who was reacting to a statement by Nwaoboshi that the NDDC awarded a contract, of N500million to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Akpabio, said the was no record of such contract in the commission involving the minister.
He, however, said from the commission’s records, Nwaoboshi should be the one to explain to the Niger Delta people what he did with N3.6bn he collected from the commission.
He listed the firms allegedly deployed by the senator to collect the whooping sum of money as Noan Integrated Services, De Towers Constructions & Allied Services Ltd, Franstine Nigeria Enterprises, Edrihide Company, Isumabe U.K. Global and Benchmark Construction & Allied Services Ltd.
Others are Millstone Allied Builders Ltd., Nelpat Nigeria Company, Agh-Rown Ventures, Edendoma Stars International and Antlers Construction and Allied Works Ltd.
Odili said: “Our attention has been drawn to a statement by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) awarded a contract of N500 million to the of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, which he did not executed.
“The Commission wishes to state that it has searched through its records and there is no evidence of any contract awarded to Senator Akpabio or any company associated with him by the NDDC.
“From our findings, the person who has questions to answer to the Niger Delta People is Senator Nwaoboshi. Our records show that Senator Nwaoboshi used 11 front companies (owned or traceable to him) to secure a contract of N3.6 billion in September 2016, in what is perhaps the biggest single case of looting of the Commission’s resources.
“The inventory records show that these items were supplied and received on Senator Nwaoboshi’s business premises and warehouse. Meanwhile, the contracts were awarded to him.
“However, some of the items supplied to Nwaoboshi’s warehouse through his cronies, were later resold to the Delta state government, while the others were sold to other states through contracts awarded to him.
“All supply agreements were signed by one and the same person being Mr. Agbamuche Nelson, traceable to Senator Nwaoboshi. This is in flagrant contravention of section 58(4) (a) and (d) of the Public Procurement Act. No wonder Sen. Nwaoboshi and his cohorts are jittery about the ongoing forensic audit exercise in the NDDC and are doing everything possible to derail it.
“We believe that until Senator Nwaoboshi can absolve himself of his role in the looting of the resources of the Commission, he should step aside from any investigative activity against the Commission. NDDC deserves the freedom to deliver on its mandate”.
The Leader of CYNDAC, Izon Ebi, who spoke after the meeting, said the chairmen with all allegations of corrupt practices against them had become interested parties in the case and could not act as judge and jury in the interest of natural justice.
He said: “We, therefore, use this medium to warn that the so-called inquisition in the name of probe by the lawmakers should not in any way truncate the ongoing forensic audit in the NDDC instituted by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“For the sake of equity, probity and fairness, we recommend that the chairmen of the house committees both in the upper and lower chambers of the national assembly stand down their chairmanship of the respective committees since they are interested parties in this case and as such cannot act as judge and jury in their own case.
“Secondly, the probe of the NDDC by the National Assembly should not end with the N40billion sledge but should be more holistic starting from the creation of the NDDC, headquarters rent racket, the revenue consultancy racket, and most of all the mystery concerning how a single contractor can have access to 1000 NDDC jobs.
“These are the parameters that will give Niger Deltans and Nigerians as a whole the assurance that the probe has not been called due to the fact that some national assembly members have been called and shamed by the IMC of the commission”.
Ebi said the ex-militants were solidly behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s decision to sanitize the NDDC and ensure punishment for persons raping the commission of its commonwealth.
He said: “We are solidly behind our President Muhammadu Buhari in his quest to sanitize the NDDC and expose those leaders and administrators that have plunged us into this sorry situation we find ourselves in.
“Any lawmaker, politician and administrator whose paws have been found in the cookie jar of the NDDC should be made to face the full wrath of the law. We commend the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Obot Akpabio for being a bulwark against the onslaught of the NDDC by rogue politicians and also the IMC of the NDDC for naming and shaming the politicians whose stock in trade is wanton pillage of the NDDC and the Niger Delta.
“We urge them to rev up the momentum. We applaud the IMC of the NDDC and most especially the Executive Director of Finance, Cairo Ojougboh, for being courageous in naming and shaming the politicians whose calling is the looting of our common patrimony. We urge them to I keep the momentum going as Niger Deltans are solidly behind them.”