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N40bn scam: NASS vows to ensure probity, accountability in NDDC



N40bn scam: NASS vows to ensure probity, accountability in NDDC
National Assembly has said that it would not succumb to cheap blackmail by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, under the Interim Management Committee, IMC over its resolution to probe the N40billion alleged scam in the commission or from any quarters.
Rather, both chambers of the federal legislature restated their commitment to ensuring probity and accountability of all agencies of government no matter whose ox is gored.
The Senate through its spokesman, Senator Ajibola Basiru (APC Osun Central), was specifically reacting to a statement credited to the Executive Director of Projects of the NDDC, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, who alleged that senators and members of House of Representative are behind the fraud in NDDC.
He stated: “Ordinary, while we are still at a loss as to why Dr. Ojougboh has repeatedly made such allegations at a time when the NDDC is under scrutiny of forensic audit and investigation by the National Assembly, the Senate is even more surprised considering the fact that the allegations are baseless and unsubstantiated.”
Apparently, he added in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja that Ojougboh is ignorant of the constitutional mandate of the National Assembly to carry out oversight function over all agencies expending government resources with a view to exposing and preventing corruption and abuse.
“It stands logic in the head to claim that by invoking it’s constitutional power of oversight to investigate the activities of the IMC, the National Assembly intends to scuttle forensic audit. The outlandish claim is illogical.
“What is the adverse relationship between oversight function of the National Assembly and a forensic audit? he queried.
Senator Basiru said “while the National Assembly is committed to reposition the NDDC to address the challenges of the Niger Delta through facilitating the rapid and sustainable development of the Niger Delta however, it is naturally concerned about the allegations of poor management or outright fraud in the management of the funds and operations of the commission.”
He further explained that “the setting up of the investigation is predicated on the above concern and not to victimise or witch hunt anyone.”
“It was also in this regards that the National Assembly has accorded the executives the necessary cooperation that will facilitate the completion of the forensic audit,” hr added.
The spokesman further stated that the National Assembly “would have expected an organisation of integrity to have formally made complaints to the anti corruption agencies of the purported allegations against senators and members of House of Representative of the NDDC committees if there are facts to substantiate same.”
He therefore maintained that the Senate and indeed the National Assembly is committed to exercising its constitutional mandate and will not be cowed by spurious allegations of the likes of Ojougboh.
“This is a very disturbing trend and the Senate will not tow this path. The proper avenue to challenge exercise of power of the National Assembly is the court of law not spewing falsehood on pages of newspapers and electronic media,” he stated.
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N40bn scam: NASS vows to ensure probity, accountability in NDDC

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