After revelations of corruption from the House of Representatives Committee investigating financial mismanagement in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has recommended immediate suspension of Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, as well as acting Managing Director of NDDC, Professor Daniel Pondei.
The opposition party explained that the call had become imperative after Pondei collapsed under intense grilling which may not be unconnected to his realisation of massive corruption in the commission he is heading in an acting capacity.
PDP, through a statement by his spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, said that Pondei’s bad outing at the hearing was a testament of collective guilt brought on him by the exposure of massive corruption being perpetrated by the agency’s officials and members of the ruling party.
He added that Pondei and Akpabio’s inconsistency at the hearing on Monday underscored the weight of corruption bedeviling the All Progressives Congress, APC administration.
“It is revealing that Pondei could go no further in the face of scathing revelations of direct pillaging of resources meant for the development and welfare of the Niger Delta people, in an unbridled corruption racket, in which the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, also stands accused.
“It is rather curious that Professor Pondei slumped after lawmakers demanded explanations on the contentious payment of billions of naira, alleged unbudgeted sums, to certain companies by the NDDC.
“This is particularly as Nigerians recall that the embattled NDDC boss had, last week, stalled proceedings by challenging the legislators and walking out on the House of Representatives investigative panel.
“The situation in the NDDC is just a tip of the iceberg on the humongous corruption, looting spree, and concealment going on in ministries, department, and agencies of government being perpetrated by APC leaders and their cronies.
“Our party restates our submission to President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately suspend the Minister of Niger Delta Affair, Akpabio, as well as disband the NDDC Interim Management Committee, IMC if he indeed desires the coordinated probe he ordered to yield any credible results.
“The party urged President Buhari to note that the people of the Niger Delta region, who are being deprived of their welfare, are following the development with keen interest.
“Moreover, the entire nation and indeed the global community are watching the handling of the NDDC as well as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, fraud saga by the Buhari administration. They are watching the unfolding drama, the rigmarole, and veneers of concealment by corrupt officials and APC leaders,” the statement read.