A group known as Nigerians in Diaspora for Justice (NDJ) have called on global watch financial watch dog otherwise known as transparency International and Interpol respectively to beam its intelligence search light on the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in the last one year over alleged fraudulent and non-transparent financial deals amounting to about N300bn.
In a petition signed by Prof Matthew Okonta, Dr Best Imafidon and Humphrey Koripamu to Transparency International(TI) headquarters in Germany and the Interpol as well as President Elect General Muhammadu Buhari(Rtd), the NDJ demanded an urgent and speedy investigations into the activities of the interventionist Agency-NDDC-in the last one year since the tenure of the current management led by Barrister Dan Abia, a former Attorney General in Akwa Ibom State but was nominated to President Goodluck Jonathan by Obong Godswill Akpabio to be MD/CEO of the Commission.
The NDJ alleged that the Management has perfected the act of splitting contracts and awarding several frivolous contracts amounting to over N300bn in clear and manifest violation of the Nigerian Public procurement Act, Presidential directives to the effect that the Commission must not award new Contracts but should concentrate on completing existing ones as well as the global fiscal responsibility Whistle which Nigeria is a signatory to in Canada.
‘’The truth of the matter is that the Commission has already awarded far more than they can chew in new contracts and they are engaged in contract splitting, an offence punishable by jailing. It was this same offence that sent Bode George to jail when he engaged in contract splitting in NPA to evade FEC and presidential approvals. As we speak, Mr President Elect, new Contracts a mounting to N300bn. They also split contracts, an act which the Federal Government Bureau of Public Procurement recently condemned in strong and unequivocal terms. The split is so several. Pls peruse the attached documents detailing all the illegal contracts and shady deals by the Board and management and you will appreciate what we are talking about sir.’’
The Group stated further: ‘’Mr President Elect, we are also sending this petition to the Transparency International headquartered in Germany and Interpol and the headquarters of the world Financial Intelligence Group in Canada to ensure they activate and issue red flag globally on some key members of the Board to ensure that come May 29, they do not escape outside the Nigeria into safe havens with their illicit and ill-gotten wealth…’’
The NDDC has been in the news recently for the wrong reasons as several allegations of corruption and fraudulent dealings have trailed it. Only last week, a group known as Niger delta Integrity Group accused the management of untold deals that are unethical in all standards.
But a source within the Board blamed the crisis and spate of accusations on politics which has its roots in the fight for control in Rivers State between the APC and The PDP. In fact,the top management staff told The New Diplomat that the physical cash they have since received amounted to N5bn and argued that the petitions are politically motivated. But when told that the petitions have gone global since some groups in Diaspora are also petitioning and if that was also political, he was non-committal.