Peoples Democratic Party Chieftain and former Delta State Governorship aspirant, Chief Sunny Onuesoke has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency ban the Interim Management Committee (IMC) set up to run the affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and inaugurate a new NDDC management board free from any external infringement.
The PDP Chieftain who made the appeal in view of the alleged corruption, financial recklessness and voodoo fetish oaths in NDDC under the IMC as unveiled at the recent public hearing of the Senate Adhoc Committee investigating corruption allegations, urged the President to equally separate the office of NDDC from the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs by returning it to the status quo.
Onuesoke who made the appeal in a statement made available to our correspondent at Asaba, Delta State, disclosed that the alleged unwholesome practices which are happening in the NDDC at a time when the nation is facing dire financial crisis, and the people of the Niger Delta are suffering untold hardship and lack of development, is not just sad but callous.
According to him, “As it stands, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and the IMC have lost the moral high ground to supervise the forensic audit and run the affairs of the NDDC. What he has put in place to all intents and purposes is a sham exercise.
Onuesoke who described the IMC as illegal and does not follow the Act, requested that it must be disbanded immediately hence it serves no functional purpose in the administration of the NDDC.
“In fact, Governments set up Special audits every year for ministries’ departments and agencies but not one of them is an excuse to abrogate the law of these agencies as has been done to NDDC. In this instance, the IMC is at best an interloper, a contraption, whose life at the Commission hangs by the thread of an audit it is micromanaging for the benefit of Akpabio and his men,” he alleged.
He requested that the NDDC Governing Board, which is provided for in line with the law, should be put in place immediately to run the affairs of the Commission.
Onuesoke insisted that infractions against member of the IMC and NDDC must not be treated with kid gloves, if the nation must make progress as a nation.
He argued that the Senate investigation into the Akpabio and IMC alleged corruption should run its full course and all those found guilty must get the appropriate sanctions which include retrieving all money collected inappropriately, stressing that this should be the minimum in the nation’s drive to sanitise the rots in the public institutions.
Speaking on the way forward for the forensic audit of NDDC, he stated, “The forensic audit has to be done by a reputable independent auditor, creditably and independently, just as the NNPC audit was done by Price Waterhouse a few years back while the legitimate board and management was still in place. The board and management of the NNPC were not set aside for an IMC in order to do the audit. The audit was done independently.”