The Global Forum for Accountability and Transparency, Nigeria, a nonpartisan pressure group, has challenged the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission to publish the names of the firms handling the much publicised forensic audit of the Commission.
It insisted that it was not enough for the Commission to claim that four international auditing firms were involved in the forensic audit without naming the companies.
Founder and Lead Executive Director of the group, Joseph Ambakederimo, in a statement in Abuja, noted that the people of the Niger Delta region cannot continue to be deceived.
The group questioned why the identities of the firms were being shielded, adding that the process adopted in the selection of the auditing firms violated the Procurement Act.
The statement read in part, “if we may ask what is so sacrosanct that the names of those four companies cannot be made public and why is it only the Nigerian Company that is mentioned, we did not see the representative of any of the other four companies on the day the documents were purported to have been handed over to the auditors to commence the forensic investigations.
“No name of any such company was mentioned by the Ag. Managing Director Prof. Pondei yet the Executive Director Project, Cairo Ojougbo, claimed four international reputable companies are engaged to carry out the forensic audit.
“The issue of the selection process of the auditing firm is another matter that borders on abuse of the Procurement Act as they often do in the NDDC.
“The selection process was not transparent because we just heard from out of the blues that a certain amount of money has been approved by the Federal Executive Council to be paid to a company whose profile or competence we do not know.
“We have searched all of the internet to see their reference for previous jobs done but nothing of such and we wonder how this company become an international reputable one to take on the task of such enormous work”.
The group further slammed the Interim Management Committee for trivialising ‘serious’ allegations of corruption levelled against it, adding that “it has become incontrovertibly clear that indeed funds have been mismanaged, outright stealing of resources and abuse of power has occurred.
“We see the attempt by these two men trivialising a very serious matters of allegations of corruption hanging over their heads like an albatross goes to show that they do not only recognize the gravity of what is before them but the response put forward by the EDP further put them in awkward position of distrust when he claimed that four international reputable auditing firms are involved in the forensic audit in the NDDC without naming the companies”.