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I Came To Fight Fraud In NDDC, But Corruption Is Fighting Me Back — Akpabio Cries Out

Posted by on May 8, 2020>



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Diary of Akpabio’s looting spree in NNDC

*  I Came To Fight Fraud In NDDC, But Corruption Is Fighting Me Back — Akpabio Cries Out

Akpabio recalls past sacked directors to aid in the looting galore that has taken over the NDDC

By Cletus Opukeme, Editor-in-Chief & Lucky Ojigbo, Managing Editor, Abuja

Several times when corruption is mentioned under the Buhari’s administration the usual sing song is that corruption is fighting back when in fact the reverse is the case as Corruption seemed to be becoming one great way of life under the Present administration of President Mohammadu Buhari mostly in one of the Ministries and Parastatals set up to help cushion the massive effect of deprivation, neglect and mass discontent over the years of oil exploitation in the Niger Delta.

Daily watch investigations and in-depth and factual looks into the Niger Delta Developmet Commision (NDDC) seemed to have unearthed some kind of outright, wicked, brazen and monumental looting of the funds of the NDDC without any iota of reservation by the Honorable Ministry of Niger Delta in person of Senator Godswil Akpabio

Daily watch solid investigations confirmed that Senator Akpabio seemed to have a pre determined plot to truly empty the coffers of the NDDC even before he became the Minister as his brazen act of looting seemed legendry in the small history of the NDDC which has since its establishment become one holy temple of fraud rather than frontally facing the serious act of developing the Niger Delta Region which is the basic reason for the establishment of the NDDC in the first place.

If the lootings in the Commission before now is to be described as arithmetical what is happening presently under the watchful eyes of the former Governor of Akwa Ibom state and one time Senator of the Federal republic of Nigeria would be described as a high class and geometrical looting as the rate and magnitude surpasses what has ever been seen or known in the history of the interventionist commission.

Daily Watch investigation Confirmed that immediately Godswil Akpabio was appointed minister in charge of NDDC his first secret task was taking stock of all the Capital Projects, monies budgeted for them and monies paid for reasons unknown to many until now when the Honorable Minister opted to bare his dirty fangs on the Commission tills.*******

Daily Watch as our usual ethical tradition to reach out to  Niger Delta Minister, the man in the center of the massive sharp practices, we called Chief  Godswill Akpabio on automatic phone recording so as to give him the chance to  defend allegations of corruptions levelled against him.

Chief Akpabio, however described all allegations as pack of lies, stating that he is being haunted by a cabal in NDDC and other top Politicians  who are scared of their shady financial dealings as a result of the ongoing forensic investigation the federal government had constituted to critically look into the activities of NDDC for the past years.

His words, ” I am not worried in all these allegations against me. All I know, Iam doing the right thing and my conscience is clear. Let me tell you, in NDDC for the past years is like come and take your own and go. Contracts were being paid without due process, billions of nairas were paid for water hycinth distilling or canal clearing. I was a former governor of Akwa Ibom state. I know so much what the people of Niger Delta region want. The problems of the region, river desilting is the least problem of Niger Delta region. All the billions of nairas collected in the name of NDDC, we hardly find any major projects in the region. The region remains the same, abysmally under developed and in poverty. Now, ask yourself, what happens to the huge NDDC budgets over the years. As Mr. President had done it, making NDDC to be directly under the supervision of Niger Delta Ministry. I suggested to Mr. President to approve a forensic auditing of the ministry and the auditors, foreign firm they are at work which we are expecting the report soon.

”Forensic auditing is not to witch-hunt a contractor or former directors of NDDC. But it is aimed at providing a workable administrative structure to protect the people of the Niger Delta region.

”A cabal who knew they have sucked NDDC dried are now feeling that the forensic auditing would expose their financial misdeeds in NDDC. Corruption is now fighting me. That Godswill Akpabio must go down before the forensic reports comes out. That is the reason why Mr. President, EFCC had received dozens of petitions against me as well as an organized anti- Akpabio media war to paint me bad before the world. I know my conscience is clear and the end justifies the means” he said.

Asked on the NDDC main Secretariat building which was at initial bidding of N4billion by an indigenous construction firm known as Marchland Construction firm,which job was revoked and given to another construction firm, Rodnab Construction firm at a whopping sum of N16billion.

The former governor of Akwa Ibom state Godswill Akpabio was philosophical by throwing a question back at Daily Watch reporter, he asked ” If you purchased a Toyota car with the sum of N100,000 in 1995 and you want to buy the same brand of Toyota car in 2020, will you still buy it at the same amount?” he taunted Daily Watch.

According to him,” The contractor had abandoned the project for long. I told Mr. President the importance of NDDC main Secretariat. Mr. President presented the NDDC at FEC meeting and N16 billion was budgeted for the building. I am not part of FEC . Let me tell you one thing Nigerians have not known, how can you be building projects for communities and you are a tenant to landlord which NDDC pays N300,000,000 ( three hundred million) per year. So, I told Mr. President to pay attention on the NDDC Secretariat permanent office and stop payment of such bogus money as tenant rent per year.

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Daily Watch asked again, ” What is your connection with Rodnab Construction company, the firm handling the NDDC main building, there is the allegation that the contract belonged to you and that you are using Rodnab as a front?”

Akpabio replied, ” My only connection with Ridnab is that when I was a governor in Akwa- Ibom state, the firm was doing building projects with Julius Berger in the state and I was in love with the quality of the firm. So, when the project was advertised for public bidding several clients applied, but Rodnab got the job on merit based on their track record.”

Daily Watch prodded further, ” Why two acting MD sacked under you in Just a short periods, that there is the rumour that they refused to play games with you that is why they were bouted out? He replied, ” My brother, I have a responsibility in Niger Delta to sanitize the rot in NDDC. Simply put, they were sacked because they made huge contracts payments running to billions of nairas without verification to know whether the projects have been completed or are in good quality. When I found out, I said, they have to go. It was not true that the last one Dr. Joy Nunieh  was sacked because she failed to play game or did not have NYSC. She lost her NYSC certificate and the NYSC office gave her an attestation letter. So, untill journalists asked or do an investigative journalism like Daily Watch before the public can have the opportunity to hear some classified information. It was not true she was sacked due to NYSC certificate forgery. But was sacked due to financial misdeeds ” he said.

Asked again,where is the level of completion of the project and why full payment had been made when the project has not been completion? The minister said, ” the project has 95% completed and by June it will be completed and commissioned. He expressed worry over the COVID-19 pandemic which according to him attributed as delay in commissioning. He denied no full payment has been made.

Meanwhile,Daily  watch further investigations also  confirmed that the second task of the minister after taking over was the transfer of most staff from Rivers, Bayelsa and other Niger States out of areas that has to do with finance and contracts award and filling same with his own men who are all mostly from Akwa Ibom with direct orders to work for the honorable Minister rather than the NDDC and Nigeria or loss their jobs.

We also gathered in NDDC under Godswill Akpabio, there is oath of secrecy not to divulge information about activities to an outsider. That NDDC under Akpabio there is kickback of 30%  for every payment made in NDDC. That the current MD professor Pondei is a puppet or rubber stamp in the hands of Akpabio as has no power to approve or pay a contract without Akpabio’s nod.

Bare faced facts available to the Daily Watch Confirmed that AKPABIO has turned NDDC into his own private business empire despite the grand looting and monumental looting he carried out in Akwa ibom state that has elicited well over seven petitions to the EFCC which got dumped immediately the APC led government lobbied and welcomed Apkabio to the APC for the sake of Buhari’s 2nd term bid and pursuit.

Also, in a recent Vanguard publication  by Niger Delta two socio-political organizations, Ijaw Intellectuals Advocate (IIA) otherwise, popularly  identifi  Izanzan  and Ijaw Development and Response Assembly (NDIDRA) in their various press statements signed by Amb. Yerinmene Salaco, National Coordinator and NDIDRA coordinator Mr. Samuel Ogwembi have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Niger Delta Minister Godswill Akpabio for gross financial offences in NDDC
NDIDRA.

According the two group, ”The scanty rebuttal of corruption allegations levelled against the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs and the supervising Minister of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by the spokesperson of the Commission, acting on the prompting of the Interim Management Committee (IMC). It was a failed attempt to distract the public from the untold hardship on the Niger Delta people.

” We and other Ijaw groups supported the interim board because of the illigality attached to the formation of that board so chief Akpabio should not take it as prerogative right and avenue to loot what is meant for the people and witch hunting of Delta and Bayelsa State staffs and expecting us to watch him bankrupt the commission. we are authoritatively saying that Senator Godswill Akpabio must should be suspended and investigated by the EFCC and the forensic audit should commence immediately but not under the supervision of chief Godswill Akpabio otherwise the crude oil from all Ijaw territories shall never be used to fund the present corruption
[4/14, 11:14 PM] dailywatch965: Also, in a recent publications, Niger Delta two socio-political organizations, Ijaw Intellectuals Advocate (IIA) and Niger Delta Ijaw Development and Response Assembly (NDIDRA) in their various press statements signed by Amb. Yerinmene Salaco, National Coordinator and NDIDRA coordinator Mr. Samuel Ogwembi have called on Preside by Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Niger Delta Minister Godswill Akpabio for gross financial offences in NDDC
NDIDRA.

According the two group, ”The scanty rebuttal of corruption allegations levelled against the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs and the supervising Minister of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by the spokesperson of the Commission, acting on the prompting of the Interim Management Committee (IMC). It was a failed attempt to distract the public from the untold hardship on the Niger Delta people.

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” We and other Ijaw groups supported the interim board because of the illigality attached to the formation of that board so chief Akpabio should not take it as prerogative right and avenue to loot what is meant for the people and witch hunting of Delta and Bayelsa State staffs and expecting us to watch him bankrupt the commission. we are authoritatively saying that Senator Godswill Akpabio must should be suspended and investigated by the EFCC and the forensic audit should commence immediately but not under the supervision of chief Godswill Akpabio otherwise the crude oil from all Ijaw territories shall never be used to fund the present corruption under Godswill Akpabio”

Continuing, ”Facts and figures in our disposal has clearly shown that over Two Hundred and Fifty billion Naira (#250,000,000,000.00) has passed through the accounts since chief Akpabio became the supervisory minister within this short period. Akpabio and his cohorts has turn the commission to their cocoa farm hence we shall bring to the public and the presidency information at our disposal one after the other at the appropriate hour” they said

Undisputed facts and figures in possession of Daily Watch confirmed clearly that over Two Hundred and Fifty billion Naira (#250,000,000,000.00) has directly and indirectly passed through the NDDC accounts since chief Akpabio became the supervisory minister within this short period, and confirmed details showed that senator Godswil Akpabio and his cohorts have frantically and religiously turned the commission’s Finance to their personal business empire and Oil rig through unprecedented looting, bazaar etc to the straight benefit of none other than Akpbio and Akbabio himself.

To get to the root of why the immediate past NDDC was sacked, an aide to Dr. Joy Nunieh told Daily Watch on phone countering Akpabio’s allegation against her boss. Nunieh’s aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity described Godswill Akpabio as a pathological liar. According to her  ” My madam was sacked due to her blunt refusal to Akpabio’s directive to approve N2 billion payment for the NDDC Secretariat after the company had been paid with over N8billion making the round figure to N12 billion  as well as  spurious demand for payments of companies Akpabio had been promised 30℅ kickback after payment. These projects have not been completed or completed but have not been verified by NDDC engineering team for quality control and so on. The next thing Akpabio threatened my boss for sack,, if she fails to bid his order and h

Undoubtedly, firmly and undeniable facts in the possession of Daily Watch and in the NDDC’s account’s section showed very clear evidences that the commission under Akpabio’s leadership is frontally, blatantly and tactically avoiding and buying more time for the Interim board to continue so as to not only maintain his firm hold of the Commissions’ purse but hurriedly continue his frontal and massive looting of the commission.’

Daily Watch findings confirmed that for over seven(7) months now not even a single auditor has been appointed to commence work on the NNDC as planned and programmed as Godswil, Akpabio has personally and in conjunction with his cohorts masterminded the employment and sack of about three acting managing directors who were vehement in their refusal to tow his selfish line of eating rather than working for the people of the Niger Delta, which was , according to findings was the only crime of the sacked MD’s under Akpabio’s watch who were reluctant to tow the looting philosophy of Akpabio.

Daily Watch findings also confirmed amongst others that the Minister Godswill Akpabio immediately he got appointed as Niger Delta Minister sacked and revoked the NDDC main Secretariat building contract job which was at initial bidding of N4billion by an indigenous construction firm known as Marchland Construction firm and handed same unilaterally to another construction firm which sources confirmed the Minister has some discreet interest in and known as Rodnab Construction firm at a whopping sum of N16billion, a ploy which two of the sacked MD’s had spiritedly vowed to stop when the issue was first suggested by the honorable Minister but which he had unilaterally done after the sack of the MD’s .

Daily Watch findings confirmed that Minister Akpabio not only inflated the Contract from 4 billion to 16 billion but hurriedly paid the 16 Billion to the Company when the contract has not been completed which is quite abnormal as contracts are fully paid on completion of Jobs unlike in this case by the Federal Government.

Daily Watch again found out , Shockingly that Since 2016 under the leadership of Nsima Ekere as the Managing Director, the Commission has been awash with contracts for clearing Water Hyacinths, Emergency Projects and River De-silting to which Senator Godswill Akpabio had been a major beneficiary of several of these contracts.

Daily Watch Investigations showed that a huge sum of N65b has been paid for clearing of Water Hyacinths. And Senator Godswill Akpabio received a whooping sum N1.9b and N700m within two weeks interval on assumption of office and is processing additional N30b payment for the same non-existent jobs to himself and companies related to him.

Daily Watch also shocking discovered that Senator Godswil Akpabio got N4b payment for supply of Lassa fever equipments that were never supplied, but rather Akpabio used pat of the largesse to sponsor militants to attack oil installations in Bayelsa State and paid them N100m.

Daily watch found out that the whole aim was simply to put and pill pressure on Dr. Joy Nunieh to pay some of the phony contracts belonging to him and his cohorts. The N100m was released to the militants through Rodnab Construction Ltd’s Zenith Bank account, the same Company that Akpabio revoked a 4billion Main Secretariat contract and paid 16 Billion to for the same contract in a controversial way.

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Daily Watch also shockingly unearthed huge monies running in to several billions paid up by Akpabio for Emergency contracts, shockingly over 80% of recent payments in the NNDC were for Emergency Jobs as exposed by documents in possession of Daily Watch which is one of the three ways the Commission has consistently been defrauded in the past and till date .

The other two ways are Water Hyacinth and River De-silting of which 20% of recent payments have been made by the present IMC.

Daily Watch also Shockingly discovered that In the matter of staff redeployment, the Commission re-deployed, in some cases, four Directors from the Headquarters to one State office where only one Director is needed. Junior personnel, with little or no experiences, have taken the positions of these Directors so that Senator Godswil Akpabio can have unfettered access to the Commission’s treasury and cart cash for himself.

Daily Watch detailed investigations also confirmed that the Minister in an haste to hide his grand looting and cover up his monumental looting has started recalling crooked Directors who were removed for corrupt practices years back

A case in point according to Daily Watch findings is, a rogue Director, one D.A Fashanu, who during the 2017 – 2019 period under Nsima and Prof Nelson Brambaifa, had the powers to stop issuance of all emergency contracts, but did not, is now back fully under Akpabio as Director Internal Audit to facilitate the approval for payment of these emergency projects.

Daily Watch discreet investigation can authoritatively reveal that the anti graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has shown interest in massive looting in NDDC under Godswill Akpabio’s watch.

The EFCC says it will focus its attention on the NDDC, to ensure that the Niger Delta region feels the impact of the intervention agency.

Head of the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Commission, Usman Imam said this while speaking to the media in the Rivers State capital.

Usman who said the that the Whistle Blowers policy of the Federal Government is still in force, urged Niger-Deltans to take advantage of the policy to give information about corrupt activities to the Commission.

According to him; “We are looking into the activities of the NDDC. We have received petitions on projects that have been paid for but not executed.

“We are going to look into these petitions to ensure that the people get value for monies released to the NDDC and, that those who steal from the agency are dealt with in accordance with the law.

“Nigeria must win this war and put the country back on the path of honour.

Imam further said his goal is to dislodge perpetrators of all forms of financial and cyber crime from the regions, just as he appealed to parents, faith-based organizations and community leaders to assist the Commission in steering the energies of the youths away from criminality by inculcating in them the

This same controversial and recalled Director by Godswil Akpabio severally has ignored clear recommendations by the Commission’s External Auditors and the Office of the Auditor-General of the Federation, plus communications from Bureau of Public Procurement, that these emergency contracts should be stopped as there are illegal and a drain on the Commission’s resources at the expense of properly procured projects that are now owed over N250bn but rather than tow that advise, the Director still on advise of his Boss Godswil Akpabio still goes on such emergency contract spree.

The lootings under Minister Godswill Akpabio is extremely as shocking as his lootings in Akwa Ibom state when he was the executive governor of the state and which shockingly fetched him over seven petitions which the EFCC under Buhari has refused to act on as soon as the Minister moved from the PDP to the APC to help Buhari’s 2nd term pursuit.

Today, the same looting spree is been re-enacted in the Niger Delta Ministry without any whimper from President Mohammadu Buhari who claims to have zero tolerance for corruption

Additional reports by Esther Eugene & Steve Seigha, Warri and Port-Harcourt

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