The Nigeria Voters Assembly (VOTAS) has called on President Buhari to set up an enlarged Judicial Commission of Inquiry on NDDC, to dissolve the IMC and immediate removal of Senator Akpabio as Minister
VOTAS expressed sorrow on the disgusting reports from the activities of the Interim Management Committee ( IMC) which superintend over the ongoing frauds and unethical practices in the Niger Delta Development Commission and strongly called for the immediate dissolution of the IMC and urgent sack or suspension of the Minister in charge of the NDDC, SENATOR Akpabio.
The Group, a principal anti Corruption, human rights and pro democracy outfit described the unwholesome actions and unethical activities of some officials of the NDDC as a very shameful reflection of the realism behind the regions retardation, development wise, exposing again, the attitude of some politicians from the region as very greedy and selfish.
In a statement signed by the Convener and President of the group, Comrade Mashood Erubami, it condemned in very strong terms,the indefensible actions of key officers of the Interim Management Committee as very shameful and a seriously deservice to join hands to siphon huge billions of Naira appropriated for the growth and development of the Delta region within the short time of five months in office against the goal orientation of apportioning the stolen fund .
The Human Rights Organisation condemned the shameful submissions of the Minister in charge of Niger Delta Ministry, the counter allegations of Mrs Joy Nnuine and the Acting Managing g Director, Professor, Daniel Pondei for alleged superintending over sleaze money reducing their appointment to sharing money designed for development projects into their individual purses as personal gains through sharp stealing, using phony contracts which had left the region underdeveloped and poverty ridden.
The Group also chastised the National Assembly’s Principal Officers for the criminal roles they were alleged to have played which led some of them to recluse from chairmanship of the investigating committees on the huge corruption being perpetrated by the Interim Committee within the few months they came into office, which have led to the siphoning of billions of naira appropriated for development but which has stylishly been turned into a conduit pipes for milking the Niger Delta dried.
The testimonies from Senator Akpabio, Mrs Joy Nunieh together with the fainted Professor Pondei amounted to nothing except further exacerbating the corrupt situation in the Committee, leaving nobody in doubt about the alleged unveiled conspiracy among the trio as key suspects and some alleged National Assembly Principal Officers.
The group also noted that the indictment of some of the National Assembly Officers involved presently in the tracking of the development projects in the Niger Delta Region, call for immediate setting up of an enlarged Judicial panel of inquiry covering the periods beyond the past audits starting from the Yaadua /Jonathan Goodluck administration to find out if it was their template of accountability that the IMC used.
It therefore suggested the term of reference should include, identifying the people behind all the fraudulent expenditures contained in the audited report on the IMC activities, the roles each of them played, establishing criminal offences in their actions, setting them for diligent prosecution and appropriate sentences if found criminally culpable.
President, Mohammadu Buhari should shrug out of personal pursuit of anti corruption war, exhibit very strong courage to extend the period covered by the enquiry, if he should be trusted as being capable and in control of government to control unethical practices under his administration and leave a good legacy behind after his tenure.
Whosever is found to be corrupt, however highly placed, should be put in the context of appropriate prosecution and sentenced heavily in accordance with relevant laws, where they are found culpable, only the strict enforcement of law can put a stop to the glibly breaking of laws to serve the people.
Those that have been found guilty in the past for personalisation of public funds, including money laundering must never be allowed to come near the government or be given the chance to correct their errors through another fraudulent rehearing laxity to be free by another judicial corruption fightback.
The group finally called on President Buhari to either suspend or sack Senator Akpabio immediately to allow deeper investigations into the weighty allegation against him and the Agency which he supervises.
Ordinarily, Senator Akpabio should not have been made a part of the the Ministry that he oversees, it’s so much important and strategic and given suspicion that he might not have been cleared cleaned during his tenure as governor of Akwa Ibom, Buhari administration which is government of change and reform, should not have made him a part in order not to send a strong signal that the President might not meant his promise not to hand over government to worst politicians that might sell the Country to dollar magnates !!
It also called on the Senator to be honourable to tender his letter of resignation to the President if nothing but for watching negligently to have allowed billions of Niger Delta Region money to be so recklessly diverted while his people and region sojourn in abject poverty. !
Comrade Mashood Erubami
Development Finance Expert,
PRESIDENT and Convener,
NIGERIA VOTERS ASSEMBLY (VOTAS) and Executive Director
Centre For Human Rights and Ethics in Development (CHRED)
Email: [email protected]