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Alleged NDDC N6.25bn palliative fraud: Senate threatens to arrest Akwa

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Senate has threatened to arrest the Interim Administrator, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Effiong Akwa, if he fails to appear before it to respond to an allegation the commission diverted N6.28bn meant to procure COVID-19 palliatives approved by President Muhammadu Buhari for the Niger Delta region.

Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions issued a fourth invitation dated February 5, 2021 to Akwa mandating him to appear on Monday, February 22 for a hearing on the matter.

An ex-agitator and convener, Network for Defence of Demicracy 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.

Current interim Administrator, NDDC, Effiong Akwa, was a member of the sacked Pondei-led IMC of NDDC while Jackrich, who wrote the petition, was the chairman of the NDDC COVID-19 Palliatives Committee.

It was gathered the Senate Committee had tried on three occasions to conduct public hearing on the petition but failed because the NDDC’s management failed to honour its invitations.

A copy of the recent invitation indicated that the hearing would hold at the Meeting Room 120, New Senate Building, National Assembly Complex, Abuja by 1pm.

The invitation, which was signed by the Clerk of the Committee, Freedom Osola, said: “The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions actually met as proposed on 26th January, 2021 and 4th February 2021 but was unable to reach a decision because of your non-appearance.

“Consequently, I have been directed to inform you that should you fail to honour this fourth invitation, the committee would issue a warrant of arrest to compel your appearance.

“Accordingly another hearing has been scheduled to provide you the last fair-hesring opportunity to appear before the Committee. You are advised to use this las window provided by the committee in your own interest”.

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