The alleged disappearance of N40 biilion from the coffers of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has been described as untrue.
Senator Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs said while testifying before the House Committee investigating the rot at the NDDC that the claims of missing funds were completely false.
He said that no money had vanished from the NDDC purse since Professor Daniel Pondei and members of the IMC came on board.
“They are lies from the pit of hell”, Akpabio told federal lawmakers.
“The world is watching us”, Akpabio reminded the lawmakers, “As we speak Nigerian students” studying under NDDC scholarships are demonstrating on the street abroad.
He said the NDDC cannot be shutdown because a forensic audit is going on and denied asking anyone to swear to an oath.
Akpabio denied allegations that he is running the NDDC as Minister, saying that his role has been primarily supervisory.
The former Governor of Akwa Ibom State disclosed that only three contracts have been awarded by the NDDC since he assumed office.
They are contracts for the acquisition of 90 operational vehicles for staff of the Commission, the supply of palliatives to assuage the impact of the Coronavirus and the procurement of Ernest and Young, a firm of forensic experts.
The Minister alleged that most of the jobs awarded by the NDDC were apparently in favour of members, but he said that two lawmmakers were manipulating the rest by tampering with the Commission’s budget.
Pinned down by lawmakers who wanted to know if the road contract at Ore was awarded to the House Committee Chairman who recused himself, Akpabio claimed he meant that the job was awarded by the NDDC in his constituency.
He added that there was no way he could make such an allegation except he has proof that the said contract averaging N10 billion was awarded to a firm owned by him.
Earlier, Professor Daniel Pondei had caused a stir when he suddenly slumped in the midst of the investigation.
Pondei was rushed out of the House Committee room after efforts were made by some of those present to save his life.
Some Nigerians are claiming it may have been a smart way of dodging questions from members of the House, but spirited efforts were made by good Samaritans to stop him from going into shock as his eyes glazed over.
Meanwhile, the investigating Committee of the House has concluded its assignment. Nigerians would be awaiting the outcome of its report.
Interestingly, the Chairman of the House Committee, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo recused himself as hearing resumed Monday morning.
The public hearing lasted for six hours approximately.
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