Nigeria: Clark Writes Lawan, Gbajabiamila, Requests Probe Into NDDC's Allegations Against National Members

4 June 2020

South-South Leader, Chief Edwin Clark has written to both the Senate and the House of Representatives, requesting for a holistic probe into the series of allegations raised by the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, against the federal lawmakers.

In separate letters to the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan and the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief Clark, he noted that the National Assembly should as a matter of urgency, carry out the Investigation, as failure to do this, would erode the confidence Nigerians, especially the people of Niger Delta have in the National Assembly.

Both letters were dated June 2, 2020.

In the letters obtained yesterday by Vanguard, Clark said probing the National Assembly has become imperative against the backdrop of allegations against the federal lawmakers by the acting Managing Director of the Interim Management Committee, IMC of NDDC, Kemebradikumo Pondei and the acting Executive Director of Projects, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh.

Clark in the letter said, "This is because in the first place, the subject matter here was discussed in the open in a press statement by the Acting MD of NDDC, Pondei and in a national/ International television by the acting Executive Director, Projects, AEDP.

"The statement made by both of them was an open can of worms and is unfortunately, accusations we have been getting on the activities of members of the National Assembly, who are put as committee chair of the Niger Delta Affairs both in the Senate and the House of Representatives to immediately over time, not just in this 9th Assembly.

"These anomalies have been going on, it did not just start. A situation where the budget of the commission will be held down unduly because it could not meet the illegal demands of some committee chairmen is horrendous if investigated to be true.

"Therefore, Mr Senate President, and Speaker, if nothing is done, and urgently too, to investigate these grievous allegations leveled against these members and by extension the National Assembly, I must say that it will erode the confidence people, especially, Niger Deltans, have in the National Assembly.

"In statements credited to the Chairmen on Niger Delta Affairs in both the upper and lower legislative chambers, they have denied all the allegations.

"The AEDP in his interview, has exonerated both of you, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House that you are not aware of these activities of the Senate Committee Chairman on Niger Delta Affairs and the House Committee Chairman on Niger Delta Affairs.

"Issues of corruption in the NDDC have become endemic. It was as a result of these complaints, that Mr. President, promptly and courageously appointed the IMC, to supervise the forensic audit which he had also set up, to investigate all the alleged corrupt practices that had been perpetuated in the Commission, before a Board will be inaugurated for the commission. Any attempt to distract from Mr. President's directive that forensic audit of the NDDC should be carried out, is unacceptable to the people of the Niger Delta. We are solidly behind Mr. President in this his directive."

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