The Senate through its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, Monday, issued warrant of arrest on the Interim Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC ), Effiong Okon Akwa for refusing to appear before the committee for explanation on N6.2 billion spent by the Commission on COVID-19 palliatives.
The committee had penultimate week issued ultimatum to the NDDC boss to appear before it on Monday, February 22, 2021 unfailingly, having failed to honour three earlier invitations made to that effect.
Specifically, the chairman in issuing the warrant of arrest, said: “Having invited head of the NDDC four times now without honouring of the invitations, this committee has no option than invoking relevant section of the Constitution for warrant of arrest on whoever is the boss of the agency now.
“The petition against the agency by an insider on alleged squandering of N6.2 billion on palliatives against COVID-19 last year is grave and weighty to be ignored.
“To this end, required constitutional procedures and processes will be followed by this committee in ensuring that the Inspector General of Police bring before it the NDDC boss on March 9, 2021 when the next sitting will hold.”
The Commission had under the recently sacked Professor Daniel Pondei led Interim Management Committee (IMC) , claimed to have spent N6.25billion on palliatives against COVID-19 last year across the Nine oil producing states.
Chairman of the agency’s COVID-19 Palliatives Distribution Committee, Ambassador Sobomabo Jackrich in a petition forwarded to the committee, said not a dime was spent for such purpose by the then IMC of the Commission.
Jackrich in the petition said: “As Chairman of the COVID-19 Palliatives Distribution Committee of the NDDC, I testify that N6.25billion approved by Mr President for Palliatives for the entire Niger Delta Region through the NDDC , cannot be accounted for and is allegedly embezzled by the then Prof Daniel Pondei – led IMC.
“To cover up for the fraud, they tried without success to bribe me with few bags of rice and beans just to induce me to play along with them.”