July 1, 2022

NDDC Probe: Live Public Hearing, NASS Resumes Akpabio, Pondei’s Questioning {Video}

NDDC Probe: Live Public Hearing, NASS Resumes Akpabio’s Questioning {Video}
NDDC Probe: Live Public Hearing, NASS Resumes Akpabio’s Questioning {Video}

NDDC Probe: Live Public Hearing, NASS Resumes Akpabio’s Questioning {Video}.The House of Representatives Committee on Nigeria Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has begun its fourth day of public hearing as it investigates alleged financial misappropriation at the agency.

The committee is scheduled to grill the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio and acting Managing Director of the NDDC,  Daniel Pondei.

NDDC Probe: Live Public Hearing, NASS Resumes Akpabio’s Questioning {Video}

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15:36: “NDDC is where it is today because of lack of monitoring, lack of supervision,” says Akpabio.


15:30: Akpabio engages in a back and forth with a committee member over the three NDDC projects he claimed he oversaw.


15:16: “The NDDC management withdrew N4.2bn cash in one day,” Akpabio says as he presents a document supporting his statement.


HEADLINE: Only three contracts have been awarded since I came on board, says Akpabio.


15:10: Akpabio ends his presentation as committee members prepare to ask questions.


HEADLINE: Ernst and Young has been approved by the Bureau of Public Procurement for the forensic audit of NDDC, according to Akpabio.


14:47: “I want to state emphatically that no N40bn is missing,” says Akpabio.

He also denies ever receiving any money or executing a contract from the agency.


14:44: Akpabio says he has no presidential ambitions, as he continues to deliver his defense.


14:40: Akabio denies hijacking the forensic audit of NDDC.

He also says no NDDC official has been sacked.


14:38: Akpabio distributes his defense document to the committee members.

The committee approves 30 minutes for him to speak.


14:32: Whatever we do here is subject to judicial review,” Akpabio says, as he contends the legality of the proceedings.


14:19: The committee session has resumed.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, takes charge with an address noting that the hearing is not adversarial.

“I can feel the heat,” he says.


BREAK: The committee is currently on a break following the short drama that ensued after Pondei appeared to slump.

Pondei has being led out and the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, is scheduled for interrogation after the committee resumes.


acting Managing Director of the NDDC,  Daniel Pondei, appears to slump during a Reps committee interrogation on July 20, 2020.
Acting Managing Director of the NDDC,  Daniel Pondei, appears to slump during a public hearing interrogation on July 20, 2020.

BREAKING: Drama as NDDC MD, Pondei, slumps during Reps Committee interrogation.


Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Daniel Pondei is still under questioning by committee members.
Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Daniel Pondei is still under questioning by committee members.NDDC Probe: Live Public Hearing, NASS Resumes Akpabio’s Questioning {Video}

12:44: “I don’t want to lie under oath, but I will provide the answer,” Pondei says in reply to grilling by the committee on how he got authorisation to spend N1.32bn for COVID-19 palliatives.

The acting NDDC MD had earlier corrected a committee member on the exact figure of the COVID-19 intervention figure. N1.32bn, not N1.5bn, Pondei said.


12:37: Pondei begins to lay out his defense.

According to him, scholarship payments are being processed.

“The forensic audit is ongoing. I won’t comment on that. The NDDC doesn’t have jurisdiction over the audit. We only provide the necessary documents for it.”

“We promoted staff when we came in because morale was low.”

He describes the allegations made against him as a media trial.


12:35: Hon. Thomas Ereyi-Tobi, the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, gives Prof. Pondei the green light to “go ahead with your presentation.”


12:29: “We should be allowed to debunk the allegations made against us,” Pondei says.

Earlier, he also said the NDDC, under his management, has not awarded a single scholarship.

Several students abroad have accused the NDDC of abandoning its financial obligations towards them.


EXTRA: The House Committee has said they asked the Acting MD, Pondei, to submit 41 documents. Instead, he submitted four.


12:19: Prof Pondei is now defending NDDC spending under his management.

He says most of the spending was used to settle expenses incurred by past administrations.


12:11: Committee members discuss whether to commence by grilling Pondei or allow him to make a presentation.


12:05: Acting NDDC MD, Prof. Daniel Pondei, takes his oath before the Committee and begins to speak.

He regrets the events of the previous week when he walked out on the committee.


11:52: Hon. Thomas Ereyi-Tobi, the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, is now presiding over the hearing after Tunji-Ojo’s exit.


11:47: The Representatives are now introducing themselves, noting their names and constituencies.


11:40: Chairman of the Committee, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has recused himself from the hearings after allegations of corruption were directed against him.

The NDDC acting Managing Director, Pondei, had walked out of the hearing last week accusing Mr. Tunji Ojo of being an interested party in the probe.

 

NDDC Probe: Live Public Hearing, NASS Resumes Akpabio’s Questioning {Video}

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