President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered a speedy investigation into activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
In October, Buhari ordered a forensic audit of the commission from its inception in 2001 till 2019.
Since the auditing process began, the agency has been under the spotlight, with allegations and counter-allegations, especially between Joi Nunieh, NDDC former managing director, and Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
Nunieh alleged that Akpabio asked her to change the dollars in the NDDC account; sack the head of the legal team who is from the north; remove all directors who refused to follow his instructions and also to implicate Peter Nwaoboshi, chairman of the senate committee on NDDC.
The ex-NDDC MD also accused the minister of sexual harassment, budget padding, awarding 30 contracts — but Akpabio denied all the allegations.
TheCable had reported how policemen laid siege to Nunieh’s residence hours to her appearance before a national assembly panel investigating the NDDC.
Wike subsequently freed Nunieh from the police siege.
In a statement on Thursday, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said Buhari has directed all investigative agencies and auditing firms to speed up the ongoing probe.
He said the presidential directive demands better coordination among the groups “to ensure that the administration’s effort to bring sanity, transparency and accountability to the management of the large amount of resources dedicated to development of the Niger Delta sub-region is not derailed”.
The presidential spokesman said Buhari “expressed his strong determination to get to the root of the problem undermining the development of the Niger Delta and its peoples in spite of enormous national resources voted year after year for this singular purpose”.
“According to the directive, auditing firms and investigative agencies working in collaboration with National Assembly Committees to resolve the challenges in the NDDC must initiate actions in a time-bound manner and duly inform the Presidency of the actions being taken,” the statement read.
“The President also directed timely sharing of information and knowledge in a way to speedily assist the administration to diagnose what had gone wrong in the past and what needs to be done to make corrections in order to return the NDDC to its original mandate of making life better for people in Niger Delta.”
Buhari said his administration would put in place a transparent and accountable governance framework, not only in the NDDC but in all other institutions of government.