Nigeria: NDDC - Itsekiri Leader Demands Result of Forensic Audit

22 July 2021

Rights activist, and Itsekiri leader, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor, has demanded the result of the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), saying a new board for the commission should not be nominated until the outcome of the audit is made public.

The veteran journalists and businesswoman also dismissed calls for the inauguration of the disbanded board of the commission.

Lori-Ogbebor made the demands in Lagos while briefing journalists yesterday on the situation of the interventionist agency in the region.

According to her, "We all have been waiting for the results of the forensic audit. We must know it, or how else do we move on from this rot created in the NDDC?

"For some time, you have witnessed the surge of demands from sponsored people, who are putting pressure on the federal government to inaugurate a new board for the NDDC.

"Let me state clearly that the federal government never inaugurated any board. This can be confirmed from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).

"Today, the pressure is on and ultimatums are being given to the president and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, to inaugurate a new board.

"This time, Akpabio, who is also desperate to keep his job, runs around to make promises to set up a new board of the NDDC."

She said the results of these investigative boards are not known.

The Itsekiri leader said: "None has been published and nobody has been held responsible. Nobody has been made to face the consequences of the criminalities that characterise the operations of the NDDC.

"What about instances where people have been accused of embezzling funds meant for the development of the Niger Delta?

"I am one of the arrowheads who fought for the establishment of NDDC. As the president said, all I see is an empty big sea and nothing else.

"I agree that a lot of people have made so much money for themselves after crying wolf. And they were made comfortable at the expense of the people of Niger Delta. Mr. President, the real stakeholders of the Niger Delta are dying of hunger. You can't inaugurate another NDDC board until you make known the findings of the forensic audit of the NDDC."

The Igba of Warri added that: "They have been there for many years, collecting our money in a system created by themselves. At any time, they would instigate their people to create unrest, tension, and confusion in the Niger Delta.

"On behalf of my people and the poor people of the Niger Delta, we state that no NDDC board should be inaugurated until the result of the forensic audit is made known publicly.

"We want to know the culprits to ensure they and their stooges are not reappointed."

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