NDDC Investigation: PDP Calls For Suspension Of Akpabio, IMC To Avoid Interference

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

The party said the call was necessary due to the “huge fraud allegations against him in the worsening corruption saga rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).”

PDP also called on Buhari to immediately disband the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC “where officials have been fingered to engage in unbridled looting of funds meant for the development of the area under the Buhari administration.”

Recall that Buhari, on Thursday, ordered a forensic audit of the NDDC

He spoke on the drama involving Akpabio, former interim Managing Director of the NDDC, Ms Joi Nunieh, as well as the National Assembly and the current leadership of the NDDC over the forensic audit of the multi-billion agency.

Buhari said the investigation into the affairs of the commission must continue, calling for a coordinated approach by all the actors to ensure that the truth was unearthed.

According to a statement issued by the party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the suspension of Akpabio and the IMC officials of NDDC was important to prevent an interference into the investigation of the allegations.

Ologbondiyan noted that the “unearthing of the rampant corruption, treasury looting, recklessness and manifest public unruliness of the NDDC management,” Akpabio and the IMC have become an embarrassment to the Niger Delta region, not just to the Buhari administration.

Below is part of the PDP statement

The party insists that though President Buhari has ordered a “speedy and coordinated investigation” of the activities of the NDDC management, such an important probe cannot yield any credible result as long as Senator Akpabio and indicted IMC are still in charge in the commission.

The PDP states that the immediate suspension of the minister and members of the IMC is the only way to ensure that such individuals do not interfere with investigations or tamper with vital documents.

The party holds that the suspension should be a prelude to unhindered investigation and prosecution of all those indicted in the wholesale fraud in the NDDC which has hindered the commission from delivering its mandate to the people of the Niger Delta region under the current administration.

Our party invites President Buhari to note that already, there are manifest efforts to frustrate investigations into the NDDC activities as witnessed in the attempt to abduct and silence the whistle blower, former acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Joi Nunieh, to prevent her from further exposing the alleged corrupt conduct of the embattled minister and the IMC.

Nigerians are also aware of the condemnable conduct of the current acting Managing Director of the indicted IMC, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, who walked out on the House of Representatives committee investigating the corruption in the NDDC, ostensibly to frustrate the speedy and coordinated audit of the activities of the IMC.

The PDP strongly condemns the invasion of Ms. Nunieh’s residence by security operatives in an apparent attempt to abduct her on the alleged orders from above and urged the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to fish out all those behind the ugly incidence.

Our party also urges the IGP to provide adequate protection for Ms. Nunieh and other witnesses in the probe from the corrupt cabal in the NDDC who have shown to be desperate to silence witnesses in order to cover their trails.

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