The ranging war between the Senate and by extension, the National Assembly over planned investigation of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission ( NDDC) on alleged misappropriation of N40billion within three months, took a new twist Wednesday with dragging of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, into financial malfeasance afflicting the commission over the years.
Speaking through vital documents made available to journalists, the chairman, Senate committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP Delta North), alleged that in 2017 alone, Akpabio collected contracts worth N500million from NDDC without execution and yet cash-backed.
According to him, “In a letter dated August 7, 2017, addressed to the Chairman, Senate Committee on NDDC, Akpabio requested that five projects worth 500 million naira be added to the budget.
“Akpabio as Minority Leader of the Senate then, used his office to include projects not budgeted for in the Appropriation bill.”
The projects as clearly stated in the letter, include fencing the Federal Polytechnic Ukana, Akwa Ibom North West Senitorial District at the cost of 200 million naira.
Fencing of Federal Government College, Ikot Ekpene (Old site) Akwa North West Senitorial District.
Entrepreneurship training on the use of modern farming implement- Youths in Akwa Ibom North West Senitorial District at the cost of N75 million.
Entrepreneurship training on the use of modern farming implement- Women in Akwa Ibom North West Senitorial District at the cost of N75 million.
Renovation of one hostel facility at University of Nsukka, Nsukka Campus at the cost of N50 million. “Findings show that while there was no physical evidence of implantation of these projects, checks show contracts were awarded and fully paid for.
“Such practices have turned the region to sites of abandoned projects” , Nwaoboshi lamented .
The documents further revealed that similar contracts collections without execution were carried out on NDDC by Akpabio in 2016 and in 2018.