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N6.25 billion alledged embezzlement: Group demands suspension of Senator Nwoboshi from Senate

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The Niger Delta Transparency Watch based in the region has tasked Dr. Ahmad Ibrahim led Senate to suspend Senator Peter Nwoboshi for attempting to undermine the powers of the upper legislative chamber.

In a statement which was sent to CAPITAL POST on Friday by the group’s Executive Director, Sampson Fingesi on Friday, noted that Nwoboshi who is the Senate Committee Chairman on Niger Delta Affairs was circumventing the warrant of arrest on the NDDC management by the investigative Committee which he is not a member.

CAPITAL POST earlier reported that Senate Committee on Ethics, Public Petitions and Priviledges on 22nd February, 2021 issued a warrant of arrest on the management of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for failing to appear before it over alledged embezzlement of N6. 25 billion COVID-19 palliatives fund.

The group said immediately the arrest order was issued, Senator Nwoboshi paid a dramatic visit on the management of NDDC and assured them that there was no arrest order against them.

The group viewed the development as undermining the investigative and oversight powers of the Nigerian Senate.

The statement partly read:
“The Niger Delta Transparency Watch calls on the Leadeship of the Nigerian Senate to caution and suspend Senator Peter Nwoboshi, the Senate Committee Chairman of the Niger Delta for circumventing and insorbodinating the Nigerian Senate over the ongoing investigation of the 6.25 Billion Naira COVID-19 Palliatives.

“The said investigation is been conducted by the Senate Committee on Public Petitions, Ethics and Privileges and the Committee on record on February 22, 2021 issued an arrest warrant on the Management of the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC including Prof. Daniel Pondei and Mr. Akwa, the current Acting Sole Administrator for failing to honour its invitation for the fourth time.

“As stakeholders and watchers in the region, we are baffled by the misleading and mischievous misrepresentation by Senator Peter Nwoboshi on Channels TV 10pm News of Thursday 25th February 2021 wherein the Senator on a visit to NDDC office told the NDDC Acting Sole Administrator that there was no bench warrant of arrest issued against him by the Senate.

“This level of desperation leaves much to be desired. Surprisingly, the Niger Delta Committee is not the Committee investigating the serious alleged embezzlement of the Palliative money.

“Senator Peter Nwoboshi’s delibrate statement is ultra vires and seeks to overrule the Committee on Public Petitions which duly announced its decision on the last hearing date of February 22, 2021 at Senate Committee Room 120 and the report including video was on most news and media platforms across Nigeria.

“The question now to ask is what vested interest does Senator Peter Nwoboshi have in this 6.25 billion Naira Palliatives funds that was allegedly embezzled and unaccounted for?

“When did Senator Peter Nwoboshi become bigger than the Senate President who duly assigned this matter to the Senator Ayo Akinyelure-led Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to handle. Is it not curious that the Senator wants to play selfish politics with this matter that affects the poor in the Niger Delta which he has proven not to be concerned about?

“It seems to us that Senator Nwoboshi has wilfully made himself an enemy of the Niger Delta and has been the one stopping the NDDC Management from honouring the multiple invitations by the Committee on Public Petitions, Ethics and Privileges and this is curious.

They wondered how the lawmaker was managing himself over several financial crimes cases against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), saying he should have concentrated in clearing his name.

“We are challenging Senator Nwoboshi to concentrate on his EFCC multiple investigations on his alleged embezzlement of contract monies running into several billions of Naira which he allegedly diverted from NDDC.

“We suspect that his hurried visit to the NDDC headquarters where he made this propaganda and unlegislative utterance was to push for his selfish interest in a planned unrighteous collaboration with the NDDC Management.

The group vowed to pursue the petition by the Chairman of COVID-19 Palliatives Distribution Committee, High Chief Sobomabo Jackrich, to a logical conclusion.

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