Presidential panel backs off, clears Buhari appointees in NDDC fraud claim

Itse Sagay, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption
Itse Sagay, Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption

The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, said on Friday allegations of corruption it levelled against the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, were not directed at the current board and management.

The Chairman of the Committee, Itse Sagay, had on Thursday accused the governing board and management of the commission of being reckless with funds meant for the development of the oil-rich region.

The law professor, who spoke at the opening of a two-day national dialogue on corruption in Abuja organised by PACAC in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President, said the commission had bought 70 exotic cars, including eight super Lexus SUVs at N78 million each, and 10 Landcruiser SUVs each costing N63 million.

He did not clarify the period the vehicles were bought, and did not disclose the management that ordered the purchase.

Following the report, the Commission’s spokesperson, Chijioke Amu-Nnadi, debunked the allegations, saying no such purchases were made since the current board assumed office on November 4, 2016.

“Indeed, it is a known fact that the Chairman, the distinguished Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), the Managing Director/CEO, Nsima Ekere, and the two Executive Directors are still using their private vehicles three months after assumption of duties,” Mr. Amu-Nnadi said in a statement.

Mr. Amu-Nnadi said the Commission was only now in the process of acquiring “operational vehicles”.

He listed the vehicles to include five Toyota Prado SUVs, 10 Toyota Hilux trucks, four Toyota Landcruiser SUVs, one Toyota Coaster bus and two Toyota Hiace buses.

He said the procurement procedures were being followed in making the purchases.

In its reaction to the NDDC rebuttal, PACAC insisted its chairman, Mr. Sagay, was right with the allegations, but blamed the commission for not seeking for clarifications.

“The NDDC ought to confirm the claim by the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Professor Itse Sagay by seeking clarification on the administration under which the said vehicles were purchased,” Okon Eminue, a representative of the presidential committee said in a statement.

“Prof Sagay is quite right. The vehicles were bought by one of the past administrations of the NNDC.”

The committee said when the details of the purchase were first published, the immediate past Managing Director of NDDC, Dan Abia, was still in office.

Mr. Abia was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan, and left office in 2015.

“To be sure, President Muhammadu Buhari had assumed office when the scam came to light. One would have thought that the EFCC and other anti-graft agencies would wade into the allegations at that time. Consequently, Professor Sagay’s accusation or allegation does not say that the scam is perpetrated by the current leadership of the NDDC,” Mr. Eminue said.

“For emphasis, Prof Sagay’s allegation does not, in any way, pertain to the present Board and Management of NDDC under the leadership of Distinguished Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, SAN (Board Chairman, NDDC) and His Excellency Obong Nsima Ekere (Managing Director, NDDC). The scam even came to limelight before Mrs Seminitari was appointed Acting MD, NDDC,” he added.


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  • Egbele Tom Amos

    I THINK UNA HEAR.IF NOT OPEN YOUR FROGGED EYE TO READ IT PROPERLY!

  • ojays

    But then is what they plan to buy not same as the ones bought by earlier boards.
    Is it a sin to retrieve those ones and use them now.

    • Gary

      Thank you. Where are the vehicles bought by the previous board? And why can’t they be retrieved for the use of the current board?
      Do we need to start a campaign to bring back NDDC Vehicles from those who absconded with public property? Mr Magu please help.

  • burning spear

    Very shameful outing–for Itsekiri man Sagay

    • GusO

      Not shameful at all. He didn’t specify which board he was talking about and I always suspected that it must be the one appointed by Jonathan. It is good news that the board in charge after PMB came to power last November or 3 months ago is not associated with fleecing the people. The question now is where are those vehicles? They should return them for use by the present board. Money should not be spent buying new ones. Those found to have stolen the vehicles should be prosecuted by EFCC.

      • ubong

        NDDC is a rotten organisation since it was called OMPADEC. If all the money allocated had been appropriated for developmental projects by those entrusted with the huge financial yearly allocation, most villages and communities within this zone would not been complaining about basic facilities -good access road, portable water, electricity etc. The problem with these contract awarding bodies is the corrupt and wicked nature of human beings bedeviled with wicked mindset. If President Buhari want to leave a legacy in the minds of Niger Deltans, let him call for an independent investigation of all contracts, location and execution state and payment made or not. The certification of contract completion and value for money team must include people from the benefiting contract communities . I can assure our President that he will be very disappointed to uncover the massive looting going on in NDDC since it OMPADEC formation period. example must be set and youths are willing and ready to work with President Buhari/Osibanjo to make sure corrupt and wicked Nigerians that have undermine the effort of government to develop these oil producing communities are deal with within the law, despite the rottenness in the judicairy

    • Obiejesi Chukwunaeme Kingsley

      Wetin bring Itsekiri enter the matter now?

  • Kamalu

    Even with the new board headed by Victor Ndoma Egba, why the resort to purchase the new operational vehicles listed by its spokesman when the alleged pricey cars under contention by the Chairman of PCAC should be active assets of the NDDC? It’s all merry go round and a circus dance!!

    • it’s all lies and desperate distractions they feel will work. i guess this strategy is going to be shot down quickly.

  • If they havent told the truth from the beginning, don’t expect the truth in the end.

  • GbemigaO

    So why did Sagay not specify the regime initially. Before it was front page in newspapers, now the correction is inside pages. When you talk too much without thinking first, this is what happens !

  • Jaspa Matanga

    The PACAC Chairman Mr. Sagay is a tendentious muck-raking rabble rouser who make vague sweeping statements to attract undue attention and create the wrong impression that he doing anything useful to justify his meal ticket. He was kicking up this shindy and posturing hoping that he would be made Chief Justice of the Federation. Nigerians already know who he is and no longer take him seriously.