FEW weeks after the nation was treated to mindboggling revelations of misappropriation of N1.5 billion by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Federal Government intervention agency is in the news again over alleged embezzlement of N6.2 billion approved for palliative by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Chairman of the palliative distribution committee of the commission, High Chief Sobomabo Jackrich, has since petitioned separately the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, asking the duo to investigate the alleged financial recklessness.
Jackrich, in a 12-paragraph petition dated August 3, 2020, entitled: “Demand for investigation over alleged misappropriation and diversion of N6.2 billion NDDC palliative money,” claimed that he was sidelined in the procurement and distribution of palliative items to residents of the nine states covered by the commission.
A similar alleged misappropriation of N1.5 billion was investigated recently by both chambers of the National Assembly. In the fresh petition, Jackrich asked the lawmakers to investigate his claim as he dismissed the distribution of the palliative items by the IMC led by Professor Daniel Pondei as a charade. He said: “The N6.25 billion that was magnanimously approved by President Buhari to help the poor and indigents of the Niger Delta during this difficult period of the pandemic has curiously been allegedly misappropriated and embezzled by the IMC of the NDDC and their co-conspirators.
“As the chairman of the palliatives distribution committee, my findings is not only that the money cannot be accounted for, but there is nothing on ground to show that N6.2 billion of our hard-earned taxpayers’ money was invested for its original purpose which the president approved.”
He called for the dissolution of the interim management of the commission, adding that the forensic audit was a smokescreen being flaunted by the Professor Pondei team to allegedly continue financial sleaze of the intervention agency.