A civil society organisation, Guardians of Democracy and Development (GDD) has described as “unfounded and misleading” allegations made by a former acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ms. Joy Nunieh against the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
The CSO in a statement signed by its convener, Danesi Momoh Prince and made available to journalists in Abuja, Monday, argued that it was curious that Ms. Nunieh was making such allegations against the background that the agency has had to be trailed by similar accusations during her tenure.
The former NDDC MD had alleged that Senator Akpabio repeatedly pressured her to take “an oath of secrecy” that was meant to keep her from exposing fraud at the Commission during her brief tenure. According to her, the Minister had in one instance, asked her to raise a memo to fraudulently award emergency contracts for flood victims in the Niger Delta.
However, the CSO maintained it had every reason to believe that Ms. Nunieh, was only out to appeal to emotions of the people and to save her face insisting that as a legal professional, she should assemble her evidences and approach the anti-graft agencies for proper investigation and possible prosecution if need be rather than resorting to what it described as sympathy appeal.
The group while absolving itself of holding brief for the minister, noted that it was ridiculous that a legal professional would claim that she was given verbal instructions for serious administrative matters.
“As a group committed to ensuring good governance, we have investigated the series of controversies that have trailed the NDDC for some time now and we have found that the Commission was hitherto enmeshed in monumental corruption. The NDDC became a cash cow for some few individuals and project execution came to a halt.
“But with the coming of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, several monies have been recovered from projects not executed. Projects execution that took flight many years ago in the Commission began to spring up here and there for all to see. This is why we find it expedient to speak up as a group that has carried out thorough investigation on the activities of the Commission.
“We make bold to say that the allegations made by the sacked MD and the several media campaigns against the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is a clear case of corruption fighting back. It is common knowledge that those who converted the commission to their private estate would certainly not sit back freely and watch their sources of ill gotten wealth taken away from them without fighting back.”