Thursday, October 29THE LEGISLATURE

NDDC: Senate to Probe Fresh Fraudulent Practices

The Nigerian Senate had received fresh fraud allegations against the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The new financial infractions were not captured in the list of the allegation of N40bn reckless spending which a whistle-blower brought against the NDDC to the parliament recently.

The Senate said the fresh probe would be handled by the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.

The chairman of the panel, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, confirmed the development following an inquiry

He explained that the acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Kemebradikumo Pondei, would be summoned after the Senate panel had concluded its public hearing involving the United Bank for Africa Plc and the liquidators of the defunct NITEL/EMTEL, which would take place next Wednesday.

Akinyelure said, “There is a petition that has just been sent to my committee by the leadership of the Senate.

“I received it on Tuesday. It is about the alleged fraudulent practices of the acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

“I will take my time to study the petition. Our committee will invite him as soon as we conclude hearing on the case involving the UBA which is before our committee.

“We will invite the MD to come and explain to the whole world how he allegedly misappropriated billions of funds as the head of the agency.”

Akinyelure, who did not give further clue into the content of the petition against Pondei, however, said the embattled MD would also answer questions about allegations of contract scam against some federal lawmakers.
The senator from Ondo Central said, “He (Pondei) will also tell Nigerians about the details of the senators who allegedly took gratification and contracts from him.
“He must come and prove it beyond reasonable doubts. No senator awards contracts. We can only facilitate project allocation for our various constituencies.

“We don’t even know when the executive would advertise those projects.

“Our job is to ensure that the project is executed. If any Senator or House of Representatives member had gone to the NDDC management to take money or contract, we will ask the MD to expose such a person.

“The NDDC should stop blackmailing the entire Senate. We have 109 members in the Senate. We are celebrated Nigerians.

“We were millionaires before we came into the Senate. We had jobs. All the allegations against us are fallacy of the highest order.”

The report of the panel, led by Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, was considered and approved by the upper chamber before proceeding on its annual vacation last week.

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