The Senate is investigating the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over alleged misappropriation of N40 billion for a period of three months.
The resolution was sequel to a motion sponsored by Sen. George Sekibo (PDP-Rivers) during Tuesday’s plenary.
The motion was entitled “Urgent Need to Investigate Alleged Financial Recklessness in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Moving the motion, Sekibo noted that while President Muhamnadu Buhari had set up the IMC to coordinate forensic auditing of financial transactions carried out by the now dissolved Board of the commission, reports emanating from IMC indicate financial recklessness on its part.
He said that aside financial recklessness being carried out by the IMC, the committee was also indulging in alleged arbitrary sack of the management staff of the commission.
“While President Buhari’s action of setting up an IMC and the forensic audit may have been conceived to forestall the financial recklessness of the commission and reposition it for fast tracking of the development of the region, the IMC has been more bedevilled with the same financial misuse in the management of the funds of the commission.
“Within the last three months, the commission has spent over N40 billion without recourse to established processes of funds disbursements which has open up further suspicion among stakeholders of the Niger Delta Region.
“IMC is also alleged to be arbitrarily using executive power for wrongful sacking of management staff of the commission without recourse to established civil service rules and practices.
“Consequently, the IMC has lost credibility and seen as a financial conduit pipe based on opinions of stakeholders in the region.
“This therefore urgently calls for an intervention by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to install confidence in the people for whom the commission was primarily established.”
However, Senators Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC-Kebbi) and Ajibola Basiru (APC-Osun) through different constitutional point of orders kicked against the motion on the grounds of being driven by allegations.
In his rulung, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, countered by saying that at the level of investigation, the veracity or otherwise of the allegations would be established.
Lawan thereafter set up an ad-hoc committee to be headed by Sen. Olubunmi Adetunbi (APC-Ekiti) to look into the financial transactions carried out by IMC on behalf of the commission within the last three months and report back in four weeks.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that members of the committee are Senators Jika Haliru (APC-Bauchi), Tanko Al-Makura (APC Nasarawa), Abdulfatai Buhari (APC-Oyo), Chukwuka Utazi (PDP- Enugu), Ibrahim Hadeija (APC-Jigawa North) and Degi-Eremienyo Wangaha (APC-Bayelsa).
By Naomi Sharang and Kingsley Okoye