NDDC IMC faces sack as staffer alleges N6.2bn palliative fraud

Fresh trouble came the way of the Professor Daniel Pondei-led Interim Management Committee (IMC) of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Tuesday as chairman of the Palliative Distribution Committee of the commission, High Chief Sobomabo Jackrich, alleged embezzlement of N6. 2billion by the IMC under the guise of palliative distribution.

Jackrich in a 12 – paragraph petition dated August 3rd, 2020 and separately addressed to President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, stated that the N6.2billion palliative scam is different from  the N1.5billion relief fund shared to over 4,000 staffers of the commission and high command of the Nigeria Police Force by IMC in April this year.

He said the N6.2billion was specifically approved by President Muhamnadu Buhari also in April for procurement and distribution of palliatives to residents of the nine states covered by the commission.

 “Today, all of that can be regrettably described as a show of shame and a scam. The six billion, two hundred and fifty million naira (N6, 250,000,000.00) only that was magnanimously approved by Mr. President to help the poor and indigents of the Niger Delta during this difficult period of the pandemic as palliative has curiously been misappropriated and embezzled by the IMC of the NDDC and their co-conspirators.

“As the chairman of the Palliatives Distribution Committee, my finding is not only that the money cannot be accounted for, but there is nothing on ground to show that  N6.2  billion of our hard-earned tax payers’ money was invested for its original purpose, which the president approved.

 “The materials and supplies, according to the statement, were to be done through emergency procurement method as provided in Sections 42(b) (c) and 43 of the Public Procurement Act, 2007,” he said.

Jackrich in the petition titled: Demand for investigation over misappropriation and diversion of N6.2billion NDDC palliatives money,” alleged further that the Pondei- led IMC pushed him aside as chairman of the palliatives distribution committee when the money was to be spent.

He alleged that rather than using the money for the purposes for which it was meant, the IMC embezzled it by only stage managing distribution of items not worth a million naira.

He consequently called for dissolution of the Pondei-led IMC by President Buhari in paving way for thorough financial sanitation of the commission and allowing the motive behind the ongoing forensic auditing, to see the light of the day.

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