The Senate Committee on Ethics , Privileges and Public Petitions , on Monday issued warrant of arrest on the Interim Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission, Effiong Okon Akwa , over failure to appear before the Panel for explanation on N6.2billion spent by the Commission on COVID-19 Palliatives.
It could be recalled that the Committee had penultimate week, issued ultimatum to the NDDC boss, to appear before it on Monday, February 22, 2021 unfailingly, having failed to honour three earlier invitations made to that effect.
Displeased by the failure of the NDDC’s boss to appear at the Committee Panel on Monday, the Committee led by Senator Ayo Akinyelure resolved that the Inspector-General of Police , Mohammed Adamu, will be officially contacted by the Senate to bring the NNDC boss before the committee unfailingly on the 9th of next month.
Specifically the Chairman in issuing the warrant of arrest, said: “Having invited head of the NDDC four times now, without honouring of the invitations , this committee has no option than invoking relevant section of the Constitution for warrant of arrest on whoever is the boss of the agency now .
“The petition against the agency by an insider on alleged squandering of N6.2billion on Palliatives against COVID-19 last year is grave and weighty to be ignored .
” To this end , required constitutional procedures and processes will be followed by this committee in ensuring that the Inspector General of Police bring before it , the NDDC boss on March 9, 2021 when the next sitting will hold “.
The Commission had under the recently sacked Professor Daniel Pondei led Interim Management Committee ( IMC) , claimed to have spent N6.25billion on Palliatives against COVID-19 last year across the Nine oil producing States .
But the Chairman of the agency’s COVID-19 Palliative Distribution Committee , Ambassador Sobomabo Jackrich in a petition forwarded to the committee, said not a dime was spent for such purpose by the then IMC of the Commission.
Jackrich in the petition said: “As Chairman of the COVID-19 Palliatives Distribution Committee of the NDDC, I testify that N6.25billion approved by Mr President for Palliatives for the entire Niger Delta Region through the NDDC , cannot be accounted for and is allegedly embezzled by the then Prof Daniel Pondei-led IMC.
“My committee was totally sidelined and the IMC hijacked the process because of their secret plots just because I as the Chairman, demanded for TRANSPARENCY in the entire process.
” The then IMC conspired among themselves and distributed strange substance in the name of Palliatives in form of spoilt food items to a few communities in the region .
” To cover up for the fraud, they tried without success to bribe me with few bags of rice and beans just to induce me to play along with them”.