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NDDC Controversy Depeens As Kolawole Johnson Exposes More Corruption And Looting Spree

How senior staff of the NDDC are diverting scholarship meant for Niger Delta students to their personal accounts.

Fresh allegations of corruption, fraudulent and extravagant spending by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NCDC) has emerged following some revelation made by Kolawole Johnson, the Head of Research, Acts of Positive Transformation Initiatives.

NDDC Controversy Depeens As Kolawole Johnson Exposes More Corruption And Looting Spree 1

In a damning report on Channel TV, Kolawole Johnson said he is ready to open the can of worms in the NDDC so that sanity can be restored to the commission.

Johnson said since January 2020, the IMC has spent over N80 billion with nothing to show for it, much of the amount ending up in their private pockets.

According to him, members of IMC are not just padding and paying contractors for shady jobs, they are brazenly collecting millions of naira in extra-budgetary allowances, and shamelessly diverting scholarship meant for Niger Delta students to their personal accounts.

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Johnson alleged that IMC members have compromised and recruited some senior staff of the NDDC, through whom they paid themselves generous monthly allowances running into hundreds of millions of naira outside the schedule of allowances provided for by law.

“The MD of the commission, Prof Pondei routes one of his illegal monthly allowances of N51.6m as imprest on ‘Personal Security and Project Monitoring’ through the bank account of a staffer named Oweife Justina with employee ID no 94..

“While, Dr Cairo Ojugboh, who collects N18m for the same purpose, uses Eno Ukpe’s bank account, a staffer with employee ID no 509, for his payments. They also receive N10m monthly for hosting visitors.

These payments are not connected to the money already provided in the budget for project monitoring, which has been overdrawn by over N180m in the last few months,” he said.

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Kolawole added that his office is, in recent times, inundated with cries from students abroad under the commission’s scholarship who are currently stranded in different countries.

While these students are facing untold hardship, the present Interim Management Committee members are busy paying themselves money meant for the hapless students, he said.

“Prof Pondei in particular paid himself and received foreign scholarship payments into his private UBA account no 1002290165 on the 17th of April at about 16:50GMT.

“Same for Dr Cairo Ojugboh who also received millions into his private account no 1002428409 around 16:24GMT being payment for a 2020 post-graduate scholarship for himself.

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“Several staff, especially those who had allegedly conspired with the present management to squander the commission’s fund, also received millions into their private accounts for the same 2020 post-graduate scholarship they never attended even during the lockdown.”

Johnson urge the Senate and House of Representatives to remain steadfast in their probe of the IMC in the discharge of their constitutional mandate of oversight (in line with Section 88 of the Constitution).

He emphasize that Niger Deltans are fully behind all legitimate efforts to strengthen the NDDC, including the recovery of money illegally and unjustifiably spent by the IMC.

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KanyiDaily recalled last week, former Acting MD of NDDC, Joy Nunieh, accused the Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, of serial corrupt practices and fraud.

Mrs Nunieh alleged that during her brief tenure at the commission, Mr Akpabio repeatedly pressured her to take “an oath of secrecy” that was meant to keep her from exposing fraud at the commission.

Akpabio was accused of squandering the sum of N300 million given to him for fence construction contract by the NDDC.

Meanwhile, the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Kemebradikumo Pondei has confessed to the Senate how the commission spent the sum of N1.5 billion as COVID-19 relief fund for themselves.

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