PROF. Kemebradikumo Pondei, acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Company, NDDC, and his team walked out on legislators investigating the alleged N40 billion irregular expenditure in the commission.
Pondei stormed out of the hearing in Abuja, on Thursday, July 16, after accusing Olubumi Tunji -Ojo, APC-Ondo, chairman of the committee, (APC-Ondo) of corruption.
“We, in the NDDC, are not comfortable with the Chairman of this committee, presiding over a matter.
“He is an accused party, the NDDC has over time accused Olubumi Tunji-Ojo of different crimes against the NDDC and he has responded in the press.
“He is an interested party and we do not believe that the NDDC can have justice because he cannot sit on his own case.
“We have no issue of appearing, we appeared before the Senate ad hoc committee but as long as he chairs this committee, we will not make any presentation,” he said.
Later, the Committee issued warrant of arrest on Pondei.
The resolution was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Benjamin Kalu (APC-Abia).
The resolution was made after Pondei and his team, walked out on legislators investigating the alleged N40 billion irregular expenditure in the commission.
Kalu, who is the spokesman for the House, commended the committee members for the maturity exhibited following the provocations by the NDDC boss.
“I want to refer this committee as well as the invited guests to section 60 which says that, the Senate or the House of Representatives shall have powers to regulate its own procedure.
“It is within the parameters of the law that the House regulates its activities, this is a committee affair and not a personalised affair.
“I want to move that this committee invokes the provisions of Section 89 of the Constitution and invoke our powers on warrant of arrest to compel the agency to come and answer how they have administered the money appropriated to them,” he said.
The committee, however, passed a vote of confidence on the chairman, describing him as a man of integrity and a leader of high reputation.
Earlier, Tunji-Ojo said that the committee was mandated by the House to carry out an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of funds in the agency.
He said that documents from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation showed that the NDDC had spent N81.5 billion between January and May.
The chairman recalled that officials from the CBN and the OAGF had appeared at the hearing on Wednesday and confirmed the amount so far spent by the NDDC. – Freedom Online
– Jul. 17, 2020 @ 12:12 GMT