By Egufe Yafugborhi – Port Harcourt
The Port Harcourt, Rivers state palatial home forfeited to Federal Government (FG) by former Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Director of Finance and Administration, Henry Ogiri, justifies President Mohammadu Buhari’s order for deep probe of the commission.
The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), a transparency and responsive governance advocacy group, expressed this verdict yesterday as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) took civil society groups through Ogiri’s forfeited property and another by former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madweke in New GRA Port Harcourt on account of acquisition by illicit funds.
Head, Assets Forfeiture, EFCC Port Harcourt Zone, Oseni Kazeem, tour guide on the occasion, first took the team of anti-corruption stakeholders to an expansive 16 Terrace Duplexes property of Diezani Alison-Madueke at 16 Omarelu St, New GRA, Port Harcourt.
They then moved to 29, New Haven Street, also in New GRA, Port Harcourt, where they inspected the 16-room mansion of detached story buildings forfeited by former NDDC Director, Finance and Administration, Ogiri.
Kazeem declared at the New Haven spot that, “This property formerly belonged to Ogiri, former director in NDDC. We investigated, prosecuted him and this is one of the property he forfeited finally, to Federal Government (FG). Currently, it is under our close watch so people won’t vandalise it pending final disposal, by FG.”
He further said the Diezani GRA property in Port Harcourt, before she forfeited it, was renting at N2Million per annum for high-end tenants with steady power supply and pool recreation among other comforts.
Suraju Olanrewaju, Chairman, HEDA Resource Center responded at Ogiri’s forfeited home that, “This is giving credence to FG directive that the whole NDDC be audited. A director of finance, just one person, can have this palatial building that is only akin to what you will see in the Arabian Peninsula. He built it to his taste at the expense of the Niger Delta.”
The tour of both properties was part of activities over a two-day Expert Training and Advocacy on Tracing and Recovery of Illicit Funds and Assets, an initiative of HEDA which targeted media and civil society stakeholders passionate about fighting corruption and money laundering.