Senate To Probe NDDC For Diversion Of COVID-19 Palliatives

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The Senate is set to begin investigations into a petition accusing the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) of diverting N6.28bn meant to procure COVID-19 palliatives approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for the people of the Niger Delta region.

An ex-agitator and convener, Network for Defence of Democracy and Good Governance (NDDGG), Sobomabo Jackrich, had in a petition he sent to the Senate last year against the sacked Interim Management Committee (IMC) of NDDC chaired by Keme Pondei accused the management of diverting the money.

It was gathered that the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions had tried on two occasions to conduct public hearing on the petition but failed because of the absence of the NDDC’s management.

At the last scheduled hearing on December 17, 2020, the committee was said to have threatened to wield the big stick if the NDDC’s management failed to honour its next invitation.

The committee was said to have scheduled January 26th for hearing but could not go ahead because the petitioner requested for adjustment in date on health grounds.

The committee later fixed February 4th, 2021 for hearing on the petition and sent another invitation to all the parties involved in the matter including the NDDC.

In a copy of the invitation dated January 28, 2021, and addressed to Jackrich, the Senate Committee, asked the ex-agitator to appear unfailingly to enable it conclude the matter.

A copy of the invitation signed by the Clerk to the Committee, Freedom Osolo and addressed to Jackrich said: “After considering your request for another date as stated in your letter, the committee decided to reschedule the hearing to February 4th, 2012 to accommodate you.

“You are by this invitation hereby required to appear before the Committee unfailingly to enable it conclude the matter.”

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