The claim and counterclaims between the Federal Government intervention agency, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and certain federal lawmakers is yet to abate as the former has since petitioned the office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu.
In the petition dated July 29, 2020, and signed by NDDC Managing Director, Kemebradikumo Pondei, the intervention agency is asking the IGP to investigate some multi-billion contracts for which fund had been made available but not executed by certain contractors.
Tribune Online checks revealed that the chairman Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, had recently denied any link with a N2.55 billion NDDC contracts with payment made by the commission to companies allegedly linked to him.
Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, in his July memo to the clerk of the House of Representatives listed serving senator and members of the House of Representatives as beneficiaries of unexecuted NDDC contracts.
The agency in a letter signed by its Director, Legal Services, Peter Claver Okoro, dated July 5, 2020 and addressed to Chairman Senate Committee on Niger Delta, Senator Nwaoboshi, it asked the latter that the N2,552,305,600 paid to contractors for the production of plastic desks and chairs for the primary and secondary schools in the Niger Delta region in 2017 under its 2016 budget be refunded.
But Senator Nwaoboshi in his response advised the NDDC to proceed to court to pursue its claim.
The Senator representing Delta North in a statement issued to journalists by his media aide, Awele Onokwai, insisted that if the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC has a genuine case against him, “it should go to the law court or make use of every legal procedure available to it.”
Further investigation by Tribune Online revealed that the NDDC petition to the IGP entitled, “Forwarding of documents in respect of on-going investigation” was connected to Senator Nwaoboshi’s rebuff of its claim for refund of N2,552,305,600.
Pondei in the petition asked the IGP to use his good offices to investigate the NDDC claim as he noted that the Niger Delta region has suffered serious deprivation on account of the non-execution of the contracts long after payments.
The petition reads in part: “Please refer to the ongoing investigation on the Niger Delta Development Commission.
“The commission has already forwarded some documents to you in assisting with your investigations.
“In addition to the documents given to your team, I hereby forward the attached documents to you.”
According to the petition, “In or about 2017, the commission awarded contracts to certain companies for the production of desks and chairs for primary and secondary schools in the Niger Delta Region. The list of the companies is attached.
“The contracts were awarded in furtherance of the commission’s education sector mandate as learning condition in the Niger Delta region.”
It further stated that “Instead of supplying the chairs and desks to the commission’s warehouse in Port Harcourt or to any of the NDDC offices in the nine Niger Delta states, the contractors supplied them to a warehouse described as Akuede Akwis, Benin Expressway, Okpanam before Wichtech.
“The warehouse is located in Delta state and has no relationship with the commission.”
The petition lamented that “Despite having been fully paid for the contracts, the contractors and the owner of the warehouse have refused to release the chairs and desks to the commission.
“The resultant effect is that the commission and the Niger Delta region have been deprived of the use of the desks and chairs and neither have the contractors refunded the monies paid on the items to the commission as money had and received.”
“It is on the strength of the foregoing that the NDDC invites you to take a look at the fact culminating in this petition.”
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