The Acting Executive Director Project (EDP) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has accused the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege of masterminding the current crises of financial recklessness rocking the NDDC board.
Ojougboh who made this known during a programme on Channels Television (Sunday Politics) alleged that Omo-Agege is fuelling the crises in the NDDC just because his anointed candidate for the NDDC Managing Director’s job, Chief Bernard Okumagba was dropped.
He said: “all these hullabaloo about NDDC money is all about one individual, the Deputy Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Just because he was denied the right to nominate, appoint the MD of NDDC, so he must fight.
“If NDDC still have a mace he would have carried it. What does he want to achieve, to cause problem in the NDDC so that Mr. President and the society will say the problem with NDDC is too much, so the IMC should be sacked.
“If Omo-Agege is very sure of what he is saying, he could have brought someone who is verse in the affairs of the country, not Mrs. Joy Nunieh, a neophyte ust to disgrace me. You (Channels) could have investigated properly to know whether what Nunieh said was true before playing the video.
“How can she say I don’t stay in the office when every day, I leave office at 10am after I have done my office job and I go on inspection of projects which all of us agreed on during management meeting”.
He noted that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio had explained on Arise TV issues that led to the removal of Joy Nunieh from office. “So I don’t want to join issues with any body today but the only problem in the Niger Delta Development Commission is the issue of the Deputy Senate President.
“If you want to become the governor of Delta state, nobody is stopping you, go ahead and be, must you use NDDC to actualize it. You are the Deputy Senate President, you have oversight function over the senate, you have oversight function over the NDDC, must you produce the NDDC MD before you can be governor
It is an issue that nobody want to allow to happen. They found out that if he was allowed to nominate the MD, he (Omo-Agege) will not be able to properly exercise his oversight function and that was why Chief Bernard Okumagba that he nominated was dropped. It was also discovered that it was not the turn of Delta to produce the MD of the NDDC.
On the allegations of the immediate past MD of NDDC, he said they are laughable, revealing that she was even the one that brought Nwaoboshi files and gave to them. “Today she claims she was forced to implicate Senator Peter Nwaoboshi. The facts are there, investigation will surely reveal them.
I do know that before she was relieved of her position, one Ude of Pointblank News published an article that myself, the minister and one Uduaghan wanted to kill her, so a meeting was called and in that meeting, the issue of that tweet was discussed, if that was the meeting she was asked to take an oath then it is unfortunate. As EDP I was never asked to take the oath because nobody can intimidate me to lie.
“Omo-Agege want to use the chambers of the National Assembly to intimidate the IMC so that they can be removed from office. They want the IMC to be indicted so that it can no longer hold office for one year but God is with us.
I can assure you that after the session with the Senate, it was obvious that the money they alleged were squandered, contracts were paid from it, they were contracts we didn’t award, recurrent payments were made, nobody has said that Cairo Ojougboh or MD embezzled the money. The question they are asking is why were these payments made, these payments were made from the regulatory patterns we met on ground.
“And apart from that the MD was asked why was this payment made and he said it was to protect people of the Niger Delta. As we speak, 11 persons are incarceration, the commission is looking for money to bail them from Kidnappers.
What led to creation of NDDC was because there was crisis in the Niger Delta and a lot of youths became militants and rebels, so NDDC was a means of trying to calm them. So when you say N1.6 billion was used, it was not used to bribe anybody.
“It was not paid into my account or minister’s account. It was paid across board for people to go back to their constituencies to work. It is on record that since the IMC came on board, there had never be any riot or disruption of all activities.
“Because the IMC has stopped looting and leakages, we have a commitment of three trillion naira debt against the NDDC and out of it confirmed debt of 1.6 billion naira and because the commission has to continue, people who genuinely did their job were paid. Otherwise the activities of the commission will fail. If we have paid according to what we met we could have paid up to N150 billion.
“Then we said no that we will scrutinize the payments, while the forensic audit is going on. Why are they fighting us, basically because we have embraced the forensic audit. And Joy Nunieh said it, she didn’t accused the minister of stealing money, she said the minister wanted her to use the money from the commission to pay for forensic audit and that is the truth.
“NDDC has paid the first tranche to the forensic auditors, and forensic audit is ongoing and as I earlier said, the solution to problem of the NDDC is forensic audit, when that is done a lot of the chairmen of the National Assembly will run away. Contractors that have not done their jobs and are fighting us will run away.
“”The people who seat in their proxy offices in Abuja and share in proceeds from contracts in the Niger Delta will no longer have it. So these are the people who are fighting us.
“On the Lassa fever project, payment of 3.6 billion naira was made on lassa fever and medical equipments and I was not aware, yet I am the EDP. The minister was not also aware of it. And she is saying that there is no payment in the NDDC without the minister’s approval. She paid 2.9 billion naira for Lassa fever without the approval of the minister.
“The memo that led to the payment of the Lassa fever equipment and others didn’t passed through due process but yet she went ahead to pay”, he reiterated.
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