NDDC team walks out on Reps’ Committee, accuses chair of milking agency of N6b

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A team of the Niger Delta Development Commission has walked out on the ad-hoc committee of the House of Representatives investigating its activities.

The team, led by the Acting Managing Director, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, walked out after accusing the committee’s chair, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, of two major financial infractions.

The NDDC team had, at the commencement of sitting, told Tunji-Ojo to recuse himself from the committee as he was not fit and proper to be there.

It could be recalled that last week at the Senate ad-hoc committee hearing on the same issue, Tunji-Ojo was accused by the Interim Management Committee of inflating a N750 million road contract to N2.9 billion.

The management also accused the chair of the committee of inserting N6.4 billion into the 2019 Budget as a training cost.

He was also accused of collecting N3.8 billion from the N6.4 billion before he released the signed copy of the budget.

Members of the Committee, including Benjamin Kalu, Ben Ibakpa and Shehu Koko, told Pondei that since there was no document before them, he remained constitutionally bound to answer their queries.

While members were still making contributions on the issue, the Acting MD sought permission to leave and walked out before the committee could grant or reject his request.

Furious members of the Committee accused the Interim Management Committee of trying to frustrate legislative functions and ordered a warrant of arrest be issued against him.

The Committee however unanimously passed a vote of confidence on its Chair.

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