It appears that the Federal government may have shot itself on the foot with the formation of an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to sanitize the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) of corruption as the commission under the purview of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs headed by Senator Godswill Akpabio may have become the corruption itself.
A strongly worded petition by the Conduct and Due Process Group revealed that the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Prof. Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei and the Executive Director Projects Dr Cairo Ojougboh, as well as the late Executive Director Finance and Administration, Mr Ibanga Bassey Etang, became proficient in signing and giving approvals to fictitious and fake contracts to either non-existent or incompetent mushroom companies.
Under the guise of attempting to curb the spread of Cholera in the Niger Delta region, the NDDC under the supervision of Senator Godswill Akpabio through the MD, Pondei in collaboration with Mr Cairo Ojougboh among others approved an emergency contract for the supply of Cholera Vaccine at a whopping N680,000,000 (Six Hundred and Eighty Million Naira) to various unqualified companies.
Perusing through the statistics of the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) by the group, data gathered revealed that the disease was nowhere close to an epidemic as only nine (9) cases of Cholera was reported in the Niger Delta region from 2019 to January 2020; hence no basis on which the contracts were awarded by the Commission.
Proving that the numerous award of contracts by the Commission was a looting spree by Prof. Pondei and his foot soldier Dr Cairo Ojougboh who acts as the Executive Director Projects, investigations by the civil society group clearly showed that most of the companies were technically incapable and unlicenced to supply protection kits as one of the listed companies awarded a contract for the supply of 30,000 Cholera Vaccines at a whopping sum of N204,000,000 (Two Hundred and Four Million Naira) was merely a small hair salon which also sells light bulbs located at No. 29 Isikpo Street, D’Line, Port Harcourt.
It would be recalled that there have been calls from various quarters for the sack of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs Senator Godswill Akpabio as well as members of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) over what many describe as monumental corruption which seems to have taken precedence in the Commission.
Calls placed to Prof. Kemebradikumo Daniel Pondei were not answered. He did not also reply to SMS sent to him before press time.