By Audrey Lotechukwu
FRI, JULY 17 2020-theG&BJournal– The Former managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Joi Nunieh under cross examination by the members of the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC alleged that the Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akpabio ordered the retrieval of 30 files containing details of contracts awarded to him from when he was a governor to when he became a minister.
The files disappeared when the Joi Nunieh appointed Committee started the verification exercise of the Commission’s Projects shortly after she was appointed acting MD of the NDDC.
She said she had sent a memo before the commencement of the exercise instructing that no file should be taken out of the Commission.
‘’You will be glad to hear sir, that as soon as I sent out that memo the files were taken out by two directors,” she told the House of Reps Committee members during the Public Hearing on NDDC today in Abuja.
According to her, ‘’under the Nigeria Criminal Code Act, when you steal a government document, it is a criminal offence.’’
She said when the files were taken, she said raised the issue of the missing files in a peace meeting held between him and Akpabio, and told Akpabio that she is assuming that the files were for 30 contracts that he was awarded when he was governor and when he was a senator and of course for the water hyacinth contract he was awarded when he became a Minister.
She said Akpabio admitted that he had called the directors to retrieve the files.
‘’It is a criminal offence to collect those files. I am calling on the Nigerian Police to investigate and charge Senator Akpabio in accordance to the provisions of the Criminal Code Act for stealing the files of the NDDC for businesses and contracts he has not executed,’’ she insisted
Nunieh enumerated the findings from verification exercise which includes contracts that were given out to some companies that were not registered and to companies that were registered after they were given contracts.
‘’In some cases, contracts were awarded before the design were given, and so most of the projects were abandoned which is like what you have in Port Harcourt at the old Port Harcourt general hospital which is abandoned because according to the contractor, the design didn’t come out.
The most notorious one observed during the exercise is the situation where you have 10 to 15 companies having contract approval for the same project. Those are the issues that need to be looked at,’’ he told the Committee.