The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has called for the intervention of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) into the recovery of over N67billion disbursed for Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) contracts.
In a statement signed by the group’s spokesperson, Toyin Odofin on behalf of the Executive Chairman of the Centre, Debo Adeniran stated “it is not enough for the Committee of the House of Representatives on abandoned projects which was awarded by the NDDC to investigate and bring to book the looters of such funds, but also with the support of the anti-graft agency that establishes an independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission vesting it with the responsibility for investigation and prosecution of offenders thereof.
Recall that a committee set up by the House of Reps recently urged the NDDC to recover N61.4 billion from contractors who abandoned sites and another N5.8 billion alleged excess payment to others as discovered in a preliminary report of the investigation by the committee.
According to the committee chairman, over 600 contractors were dubiously awarded contracts by the NDDC across the states of jurisdiction. Also, one of the officials told NDDC that the lawmakers that 49 of the contracts awarded across the Niger Delta region were terminated and 342 others stalled.
“CACOL as an anti-corruption and transparency organization with total disdain for any corruptive acts, especially by government officials directly or through proxies, agencies or their representatives, believes that these allegations and the amount involved is weighty enough to attract the interest and intervention of relevant anti-graft agencies in the country, with a view to investigating and redressing the anomalies, where relevant.
“However, it is on this note that the Committee’s chairman revealed that the Commission, apart from engaging in questionable dealings, lacked effective control mechanism in the award of contract and project finance which led to flagrant abuse of due process. Also, it was discovered that the commission’s approved budgets from 2008 to 2018 stood at N2,832,611,325,966; and the total receipts, N1,848,774,602,103.
The CACOL boss added, “Considering the monumental woes and destruction corruption has wreaked on Nigeria till date, no stone should be left unturned in beaming searchlight wherever the scourge bares its fangs, irrespective of whoever is involved. This is why we are using this medium to call on the anti-graft agency, ICPC to, as a matter of urgency and national interest, wade in and bring whoever is culpable in depriving the Niger Delta people of the needed development by short-changing them through the NDDC to book without much ado so as to serve as deterrent to others.”
An excerpt from The Nation Daily Newspaper