NDDC Acting MD, Slumps During Reps Committee Interrogation

The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Daniel Pondei, slumped on Monday during an interrogation session by the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC.

The Committee had begun its fourth day of public hearing as it investigates alleged financial misappropriation at the agency when Pondei slumped.

The House Committee revealed that they asked the Acting MD, Pondei, to submit 41 documents. Instead, he submitted four.

In his defence, he said most of the spending was used to settle expenses incurred by past administrations adding that the NDDC, under his management, has not awarded a single scholarship.

“We should be allowed to debunk the allegations made against us,” Pondei said, describing the allegations made against him as a media trial.

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

“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.

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

It would be recalled that 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.

Hon. Thomas Ereyi-Tobi, the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, was presiding over the hearing after Tunji-Ojo’s exit.

The committee is scheduled to grill the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

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