NDDC: Group wants NASS to stop probe, advocates independent panel
A group, Civil Society Joint Action Against Corruption, CSJAAC, has called for an independent probe into the allegations of financial recklessness running into billions of dollars in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
This is even as it urged the National Assembly committees probing the commission to discontinue the process, saying that the legislative arm of government is an interested party in the alleged scam.
The group in a statement signed on behalf of 10 different organisations in Abuja by the Coordinator Network Against Poverty in Africa Campaign, NAPAC, Comrade Samuel Dickson, said “the loss of confidence expressed by the Interim Management Committee, IMC of the NDDC, the people of the Niger Delta and Nigerians, is the centre of our concern.”
It said this has become necessary considering the claim that the probe panel was set up to witch-hunt suspected members of the public and that in no time has such activities or exercise yielded any good result except wastage of public funds and resources.
The group added that “it will be honourable for the House Committee on Niger Delta to stop this unpatriotic, insincere and self serving exercise.”
“Having watched the activities surrounding the probe by both the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Niger Delta majorly on allegations of financial impropriety and constant exchange of accusations and counter-accusations between the chairman of the House Committees on NDDC, Hon. Olubumi Tunji-Ojo and the Interim Management Committee, IMC of NDDC which ranges from budget inflation by the National Assembly; non- payment of claimed contact executed by National Assembly members; undue influence and arm twisting by the Committees on Niger Delta in both the Senate and House of Representatives
“We are of the opinion that the standing committees of the National Assembly being an interested party in the case, having been accused of corruption, lack of morality and public confidence will not do justice to the issues of financial improprieties and other related wrong doings in the NDDC.
“Therefore, we hereby demand that it discontinue and excuse itself from the probe,” it explained.
The group added that the call for independent probe panel has become imperative so as to avoid another witch-hunt and controversy over the allegations.
“In the interest of the nation and to disabuse the fear, perceptions, doubt of the public on the on-going probe, we therefore call for immediate stoppage of the said probe by National Assembly and call for an Independent panel of enquiry to probe the activities of the immediate IMC of NDDC.
“We want all issues surrounding the mismanagement of funds, non-payment of scholarships, contract scams and budget inflation to be treated holistically.
“We believe this can be done only by an Independent Presidential probe panel, where-in all will face the committee and report back to the President, and for relevant anti corruption agencies to act on.
“Allowing members of National Assembly to go ahead will not produce the needed result, but rather lead to waste of time and resources and only ended up in media trial,” the group alleged.
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