Niger Delta Renaissance Coalition on Wednesday faulted the claims of a purported ‘militant’ group, Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative, over the probe of Niger Delta Development Commission.
LPCDI had allegedly pledged the support of ex-militant leaders to the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
But the Director of Research, Strategy and Information of the Niger Delta Renaissance Coalition, Ebi Arogbofa, said the LCPDI is a
Front for the Interim Management Committee (IMC), describing the group as “another of the specious groups.”
Arogbofa said the statement by LPCDI was “rolled out of the public relations hirelings of the NDDC IMC.”
“As Niger Delta leaders and activists who have been involved in the struggle for the emancipation of the region, we make bold to say without fear or favour that these groups and names are fictitious and have no inch of relevance among the people of the Niger Delta,” Arogbofa said.
Arogbofa accused IMC of “using fake and expendable names to sign press statements and passing out to unsuspecting news outlets.”
“We are fully behind the committees set up by the Senate and the House of Representatives to investigate the IMC and restore probity at the NDDC,” he said.
IMC is being accused of misappropriating billions meant for the development of the Niger Delta. President Muhammadu Buhari had in 2019 ordered a forensic audit of NDDC finances which took effect on April 22.
However, acting Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Kemebradikumo Pondei,described the allegations as the handiwork of people and groups who were afraid that the ongoing forensic audit would reveal their corrupt dealings with past NDDC managements.
Pondei on Tuesday said the ongoing probe by the National Assembly committees on NDDC was meant to arm-twist and force the IMC to tamper with the forensic audit.
“We have faced so much pressure from some members of the National Assembly not to send certain files to forensic auditors. We refused because we fear this will compromise the process,” Pondei said.
“Similarly, we have also faced pressure to pay for 132 jobs which have no proof of execution as well as pay out N6.4 billion for those jobs,” he added.
Pondei accused the National Assembly of padding 2019 NDDC budget with over 500 fake projects worth billions of naira.
But Arogbofa said the IMC is only trying “to weapon the forensic audit against those who seek the investigation of its fraudulent activities.”
“This should not even arise because the IMC is illegal and should be scrapped without further delay,” he added.