The Citizens’ Quest for Truth Initiative, a Non Governmental Organization championing right leadership and development in the Niger Delta region, has raised the alarm over alleged plot to scuttle the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to cover the involvement of some politicians in the sleeze that bedeviled the Commission.
It also alleged that those behind the plot maybe scheming to incite President Muhammadu Buhari to scrap the NDDC.
The group insisted that the recent inquest by National Assembly into the N40 billion allegedly misapproprieted by the Interim Management Committee is merely diversionary, adding that the move is suspicious, especially now that the Forensic Audit of the Commission has commenced.
In a statement signed by its President and Founder, Oby Ndukwe, the group argued that “those asking for the records cannot claim innocence over the sleaze that has been going on in the Commission”.
According to the statement, “the truth is that there are sinister plots to scuttle the audit and possibly get the President to scrap the NDDC”.
It alleged further that those behind the plot to derail the forensic audit are equally scheming to tarnish the image of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, for insisting on auditing the accounts of the NDDC since it was created 19 years ago.
“From my findings, Akpabio is like a marked man in the field of play. He left PDP for the APC and that of course earned him more enemies in his former party. He was the Senate Minority leader and a key member of the PDP Caucus. And who is controlling the Committees on NDDC in the Senate? PDP of course. So, there is a correlation between the allegations and frustrations he is facing in a bid to turn around the fortunes of the region especially at the NDDC.
“Those who have held on to NDDC as a cash cow are not letting go especially where it is obvious that the Forensic Audit as ordered by the President is going to expose them.
“The easiest way to discredit a political leader who is performance driven is to paint him with the tar of fraud and corruption.
“The N40bn inquest of the Interim Management Committee is merely diversionary. We should be asking why now that the Forensic Auditors have commenced work? What are they afraid of?
“The President has ordered that the audit covers a 19 year period from inception of the Commission. So why is NASS limiting theirs to just 6months of the IMC?, the statement read in part.
It continued that, “the Senate Committee Chairman on NDDC, Peter Nwaoboshi has been there and don’t forget that out of the 19 year period, his party, PDP supervised the NDDC for 15 years.
“The House Committee Chairman on NDDC is not from the oil producing part of Ondo State, yet, he has a 17km road split into 11 at N950m each, totalling N10.4bn.
“So how can they sit on a matter they are involved in. Focusing on the 6 months of the IMC is only a ploy to get the IMC sacked, since the NASS was never in support of the IMC from the time the Joi Nunieh team was appointed. It’s all politics.”