Home Oil and Gas NDDC Ag MD collapses during investigation of N40bn probe, C’ttee Chairman steps down

NDDC Ag MD collapses during investigation of N40bn probe, C’ttee Chairman steps down

by Business News Report

It was a melodrama at the House of Representative sub Committee probe of Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC as Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, the Acting Managing Director,, collapsed during investigative hearing at  the National Assembly.  Also the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Rep. Olubumi Tunji-Ojo (APC-Ondo), has stepped down following accusations of involvement in corrupt practices in the commission. Tunji-Ojo stepped aside at the ongoing investigation on alleged N40 billion irregular expenditures in the NDDC in Abuja.

The Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC had on Thursday, July 16, walked-out on lawmakers during a public hearing after accusing Tunji-Ojo of corrupt practices in the commission. Stepping aside, Tunji-Ojo said that as a federal lawmaker he had kept his integrity in service of the people and would continue to do so. “I am not a president or governor and so I do not enjoy immunity; if you have case against me, send to the relevant security agencies and if I have case to answer, I will appear. I read in national newspaper where the IMC accused me of being on revenge mission; this is not true; this investigation is about the emancipation of the Niger Delta people. This is not about any individual but the good of the Niger Delta people and so I step aside as chairman to allow all party have a sense of free and fair hearing,” he said. The ongoing investigative public hearing is now being chaired by the Deputy Chairman of the committee, Rep. Thomas Ereyitomi

Pondie collapsed  while he was answering questions from lawmakers at the ongoing N40 billion irregular expenditures in the commission. The members had asked Pondie to explain the N642 million paid to a company known as Clear Point Communication. The lawmakers also asked the Pondie to explain the N536 million paid for Save Life Campaign in the oil rich region and to prove that they were all budgeted for in the 2019 Appropriation Act. Pondie told the lawmakers that N642 million paid to Clear Point Communication to train locals and to help locate and identify NDDC projects in the area. Pondie, however, could not confirm that the payments were budgeted for, asking the lawmakers to give him time to provide the budget. In the process, Pondie collapsed, sweating profusely and was carried out for first aid and medical attention. The hearing was then adjourned for 30 minutes to allow members and guest go for tea break. 

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