The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has petitioned the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammad Adamu, to prosecute seven companies that failed to deliver on contracts after collecting about N1.6 billion (N1,625,467,200).
The NDDC had earlier linked the companies to Delta senator, Peter Nwaoboshi, an allegation he denied.
NDDC said it awarded the contracts to the companies for the production of desks and chairs for primary and secondary schools in the Niger Delta region in 2017 in furtherance of the commission’s education sector mandate and improving learning condition in the Niger Delta region but the goods were delivered to another location.
Last week, the NDDC in a letter signed by the Director, Legal Services, Peter Okoro, demanded a refund of N2.6 billion from Mr Nwaoboshi, being the amount the agency said it paid in 2017, for contracts to the companies allegedly linked to him.
According to the letter, the payment was made to contractors for the production of plastic desks and chairs for the primary and secondary schools in the Niger Delta region. This, it said, was in furtherance of the NDDC’s education sector mandate of acting as a catalyst for the improvement of classroom and learning conditions in the region.
The lawmaker was given a two-week ultimatum to refund the said amount.
A similar allegation was contained in the latest petition dated July 29 and signed by the Managing Director of the Commission, Kemebradikumo Pondei.
In the letter titled “Re: Forwarding of documents in respect of on-going investigation”, Mr Pondei noted that the petition was to help with an on-going investigation.
The companies and amount paid to them for the 2017 contracts were mentioned in another document attached to the petition.
They are Noan Integrated Services, De Towers Construction and Allied Services Ltd, Franstine Nigeria Entreprises and Edrihide Company.
Others are Isumabe U.K Global, Benchmark Construction & Project Ltd and Millstone Allied Builders Ltd.
All the companies were paid N232,209,600 each for the purpose of “production of plastic desks and chairs for primary/secondary schools in nine states of the Niger Delta Region” – a total of N1.6 billion when summed up.
“Instead of supplying the chairs and desks to the commission’s warehouse in Port Harcourt or to any of the NDDC offices in the nine Niger Delta states, the contractors supplied them to a warehouse described as Akuede Akwis, Benin Expressway, Okpanam before Wichetech.
“The warehouse is located in Delta State and has no relationship with the commission. Waybills evidencing delivery of the desks and chairs at the said warehouse are hereby attached.
“Despite having been fully paid for the contracts, the contractors and the owner of the warehouse have refused to release the chairs and desks to the commission,” part of the statement read.
The NDDC boss further said the resultant effect is that the commission and the Niger Delta region have been deprived of the use of the desks and chairs and neither have the contractors refunded the monies paid on the items to the commission as money had and received.
“It is on the strength of the foregoing that the NDDC invites you to take a look at the fact culminating in this petition.”
In his response to the former letter, Mr Nwaoboshi said the matter is subjudice as it is already before two law courts of competent jurisdiction in Nigeria, describing the management of the NDDC as a bunch of confused men.