By Emma Amaize
Ijaw People’s Development Initiative, IPDI, a rights group in Delta state, on Friday, said it did not have confidence in the ability of the Senate to investigate an alleged N40 billion expenditure scandal rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC because the upper chamber speaks from both sides of the mouth.
The group in a statement by the National Please, Mr. Austin Ozobo, said: “Our attention has been drawn to the Senate decision to investigate the high profile corruption in Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. Ordinarily, the Senate decision to probe financial scandal in NDDC appears to be a laudable and timely as it will help to expose all frauds perpetrated by those presiding over the affairs of the Commission.”
“But the Senate cannot be trusted, the reason being that the same Senate that vowed not to allow the Interim Management Committee to take over the affairs of the NDDC, later made a U-turn and released the Commission’s Budget to them.
“The truth is that Senate speaks from both sides of its mouth. We do not have confidence in its ability to carry out an effective investigation into financial recklessness in the Commission until we are proven wrong by the action of the Senate.
“It is appalling that the Commission is engulfed with multiple billions naira contract scam. A lot of money has been moved to private pockets from the Commission’s treasury unaccounted for by dubious contractors and government officials in the proxy.
The Senate is responsible for this mess rocking the Commission. It is worrisome that the Senate is playing politics with NDDC. It cannot be trusted as it could turn around overnight and begin to sing another song
“There is, however, need for an investigation into financial scam in the Commission as it will help to restore sanity in the Commission,” IPDI asserted.
The group added: “It is shameful that the commission has been turned to a cash cow by few corrupt government officials in the region, making the purpose of the creation of the Commission defeated.”
“Frankly, the Senate has not helped matters in fighting corruption in this country. The Senate appears to be a gathering of political jobbers. It appears that it represents itself and not Nigerians. It speaks to enlarge their pockets and not for anything else. The decision of the senate would have gone a long way in repositioning the Commission to serve it’s the original purpose of creation, if only it is all-encompassing.”
“Truly, we have lost confidence in the ability of the Senate to carry out an effective probe on NDDC, as the decision appears to be a mere noise to entertain gullible Nigerians having understood it modus operandi,” the rights group further averred.