Senate intensifies action on N6.3b NDDC palliatives scam

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The Senate yesterday gave a commitment probe the N6.25 billion allegedly spent COVID-19 palliatives by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2020.

The Senate consequently has summoned NDDC new management appear February 22, 2021 its committee Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.

Chairman of the Committee, Patrick Akinyelure, told newsmen after the panel’s sitting in Abuja that there be no escape route for the agency’s management the scandal.

“This is the third time the leadership of the commission has failed honour invitation on the alleged N6.25billion COVID-19 palliatives scam.

“But unfortunately for them, as a committee of the Senate, we shall thoroughly investigate whether they like or not, since the petition on the fraud even came from a ranking officer from the Commission.

“Even as a from of the affected states, I along with 26 others, did not see any palliatives being distributed by NDDC last year.

“Since Government is a continuum, the new management of the commission, must appear before this Committee unfailingly on the 22nd of this month,” Akinyelure said.

He added that submission of the new management on the alleged scam determine the fate of the sacked Pondei-led IMC, alleged to have misappropriated the money.

A National Assembly probe reports had revealed the NDDC agency the recently sacked Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei-led Interim Management Committee (IMC) spent N6.25billion on palliatives to cushion effect of COVID-19 last year across the nine oil producing States in the Niger Delta region.

But the chairman of the agency’s COVID-19 palliatives Distribution Committee, Ambassador Soboma Jackrich, in a petition to the Senate, said such money was never spent on palliatives by the then IMC of the agency.

The management of the NDDC was not represented at the committee’s sitting on Thursday to defend against them.