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N6.2 billion scam: NDDC management faces dissolution as ‘can of worms’ is opened in fresh petition

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N6.2 billion scam: NDDC Management faces dissolution as ‘can of worms’ is opened in fresh petition to Senate

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)’s Prof. Daniel Pondei leadership has been accused of spending the sum of N6,250,000,000 (Six billion, Two Hundred and Fifty) naira as palliative without a trace.

In a fresh petition addressed to the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan by the Chairman of the COVID-19 Palliative Distribution Committee of the NDDC, Chief Sobomabo Jackrich, a copy of which was obtained by CAPITAL POST on Tuesday, the petitioner urged the upper legislative chamber that the Interim Management Committee (IMC) be investigated.

In a 12- paragraph petition dated 3rd August, 2020, Jackrich said the N12. 6 billion palliative scam is different from N1.5 billion relief funds shared to over 4,000 staff of the agency and high command of the Nigeria Police Force in April this year.

Chief Jackrich explained that he was appointed and inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari as Chairman of COVID-19 palliative Committee Chairman, but regretted that the amount in question was spent by the the NDDC management without his knowing.

In what he described as a show of shame, Jackrich said, he carried out an investigation, after he surprisingly heard that the amount was spent on COVID-19 palliative in one of their appearances at the Senate Committee investigative hearing, disclosing that none of the nine Niger Delta States benefitted, as well as there was nothing on ground to show that palliative was distributed.

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Part of the petition reads: “That I was officially inaugurated along with members of my Committee to oversee the distribution of Palliatives in the nine Niger Delta states and my committee was made up of Directors in the Commission covering the nine states.

“That the Palliative Distribution was officially flagged off in Port Harcourt with the mandate to commence distribution.

“Today, all of that can be regrettably described as a show of shame and a scam. The Six Billion, Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N6,250,000,000.00) only that was magnanimously approved by Mr. President to help the poor and indigents of the Niger Delta during this difficult period of the pandemic as Palliatives has curiously been allegedly misappropriated and embezzled by the IMC of the NDDC and their co-conspirators.

“As the Chairman of the Palliatives Distribution Committee, my findings is not only that the money cannot be accounted for, but there is nothing on ground to show that that 6.2 billion Naira of our hard earned tax payers money was invested for its original purpose which the President approved.

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“The materials and supplies according to the statement were to be done through Emergency Procurement method as provided in Sections 42(b) (c) and 43 of the Public Procurement Act, 2007.”

“Whereas the Palliatives was meant for the indigent and poor, curiously, just a handful of food items though staged-managed, was provided and distributed to an insignificant number of persons in the Niger Delta states under a camera-party just to falsely give the impression that the Palliatives have been distributed.

“Some of the food items were politically shared among the IMC choice areas including a few states of choice which aligned with them politically to undermine the original essence of the palliative by President Muhammadu Buhari which was approved with tax payers monies.

“As the chairman of the Palliative Distribution Committee, I can not account for the Palliatives as my Committee was sidelined just because I as the Chairman demanded for accountability and transparency in the processes as well as value for money with respect to the palliatives.

He stressed that he was called and handed few bags of beans and rice to induce him, when it dawned on them that the palliative controversy would be reverted to him on the long.

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Jackrich revealed that most of acclaimed food stuff that was shared by the IMC was spoilt, wondering only the IMC could explain where they got the rotten food items.

“They called and handed me with few bags of rice and beans just to induce me to play along with them giving the false impression that the process was successful. This appears to me as a coverup plot.

“Most of the food items that they claimed to have distributed were spoilt and unhealthy for human consumption. Thus only the IMC can tell where they got those poisonous and rotten food items from.

“The next thing we hear surprisingly, is that the palliatives has been distributed. I managed to monitor from a distance the charade and show-off since I and my Committee was stripped of our assignments by the IMC in the distribution processes and left us incommunicado.

“All needed logistics that my Committee was supposed to work with was entirely denied us.”

The petitioner urged President Muhammadu to disband the IMC, saying forensic audit of the agency under Prof. Pondei would be compromised.

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