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Alledged NDDC N40 billion fraud: Senate dares Akpabio to prove award of contracts

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As crisis of financial scam in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the tune of N40 billion deepens between the Nigerian Senate and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs deepens, the upper Chamber has challenged the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Godswill Akpabio to take a step further to make evidence of allegations against the institution public.

Senator Peter Nwaoboshi in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday said the Minister had been provoked by Senate’s insistence on probing the alleged N40 billion scam, thereby making him to resort to seld-help of blackmail of the Senate which was out to carry out its oversight functions.

The lawmaker told the Minister to further stop the national embarrassment, saying that “the allegations of N1 billion monthly remittances and about 1,000 contract awards to the Committee Chairman were blatant lies.

“Moreso, it is uncharitable and a condemnable low of smear campaigns against members of the Senate, for churning out blatant lies that N1 billion was being given to them monthly.

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The statement which was signed by Luka Igbonoba Special Assistant on Legislative Matters/Media Matters to Senator Peter Nwaoboshi was in response to a press conference by the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC which alleged that:

“Eleven companies which were used in executing contracts in the Niger Delta Development Commission were owned by Distinguished Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.

Nwaoboshi further clarified: “These are companies that he does not know nor had anything to do with.

“A simple search at Corporate Affairs Commission will, at least, show both former and present directors. How do you libelously claim a man owns companies that perhaps belong to other people?

“Apparently, the officials might have generated names of companies they have probably used to siphon the peoples common patrimony, everyone involved must face the wrath of the law as It is expected that due diligence should precede any contract award.

“In any case, if the contracts were actually awarded in 2016 as alleged, the forensic audit which covers the period is expected to expose every detail surrounding these contracts and save the public from this shameless falsehood.

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“We strongly challenge NNDC to avail the public of the names of directors and shareholders of all the companies.

“Nigerians are aware that the misleading press release is just another desperate attempt to rescue the already shredded and tattered image of Godswill Akpabio.

“Senator Nwaboshi, once again, stands on and reaffirms all he said in his last press conference as it concerns the Minister.

“He made it very clear and evidentially backed it up by presenting a memo written to him by Akpabio in 2017, requesting the inclusion of projects in the 2017 NDDC budget amounting to the tune of 500 million Naira.

“The fact of this request is incontrovertibly true as contained in the said memo which is in the public domain. No amount of brazen denial can subvert the documented evidence. The commission keeps indicting itself in the desperate attempt to exonerate Akpabio.”

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“The claim that some school desks and chairs purportedly produced for NDDC were diverted and supplied to Delta state government by him is a white lie from the pit of hell.

“Since becoming a Senator in 2015, Senator Nwaoboshi has not received any contract award or executed any for the Delta state government. These facts can be verified from Delta state government records.

“The inconsistency in lies dished out by the Interim management committee of NDDC against Senator Peter Nwaoboshi easily exposes the laughable attempt to smear an innocent man.

“First they alleged he was receiving 1billion Naira monthly as consultancy fee. Same NDDC admitted that the allegation is false. They later turned around to allege that he received 1000 contracts. When that again fell like every other, the narrative changed to 350 contracts.

“All of a sudden, it has all collapsed to 11 contracts. Soon, the number shall obviously come to zero. That is the ways of lies; they crumble like pack of cards’, it concluded.

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