Last week, Eno Ubi Otu, director of finance and accounting at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), was subjected to intense questioning by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in connection with a case of alleged plagiarism. reportedly received. N25 billion tax remittance. The arrest was reportedly part of a larger investigation that covered the NDDC’s forensic audit report. However, committee management denied the EFCC’s report of Otu’s arrest, saying he was only invited to clarify specific issues. According to it, Otu has been sued by the EFCC as part of a routine procedural investigation into his non-remittance of VAT over a period of 15 years, brought by the Federal Internal Revenue Service (FIRS) and ostensibly coordinated by the named person. were invited only. At the next board meeting of the Commission. The directors were not even members of the committee’s steering committee during the period in question. Also, this is just speculation by the reporter, and such information has not been attributed to any individual, nor has EFCC spokesperson Mr. Wilson Wujaren provided or confirmed such information. Also note that there is no ”
Regardless of the NDDC’s response in this particular case, it is true that the institution has become synonymous with despicable behavior over the years. Nearly every leadership team at the agency has been accused of unbridled abuse of power, which is, to say the least, highly disappointing. It has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja for an interim order to seize gas stations and warehouses associated with former NDDC head Solomon Ita. It accused Ita of acquiring the property with the proceeds of corruption. In September 2020, the former managing director of the NDDC, whose name is anonymous, confiscated his Np 250 million to the federal government. In her May of this year, the EFCC arrested her former Managing Director of the Commission, Nsima Ekere, on charges of her £47bn fraud. From 2016 until 2018 she was managing director of the NDDC, Ekele was arrested in Lagos on suspicion of misappropriating funds through the commission’s registered contractors.
Indeed, Nigerians could not forget the outrage of politicians over the alleged misappropriation of Np81.5 billion by commission officials in 2020. N100 billion scam. It is heartbreaking that more than Np 100 billion of his NDDC contracts were spent on his NDDC contracts without any justification, according to the Senate Public Accounts Committee, headed by Senator Matthew Urhohid, which investigated his NDDC. That was it. The Committee noted that from 1 January 2013 until 30 June 2018 he relied on special periodic checks on his NDDC activities and programs to ensure that the oversight contract was in place for his 2007 We have discovered that it is not subject to open competitive bidding in accordance with the Public Procurement Act24. (1).
If the NDDC leadership fails to get the point across, the Commission has been a huge disappointment to the Niger Delta and Nigerians in general since its inception. Far from being fit for purpose, the government’s lack of political will to punish criminals has hampered the progress its creation was supposed to bring to the long-suffering people of the Niger Delta region. Among other adverse developments is the avalanche of abandoned projects in the Niger Delta where contractors should have been fully mobilized. Haphazard execution of projects, diversion of projects from designated countries, and reckless embezzlement of funds are commonplace. The existing laws and regulations that should guide and direct the activities of interventionist institutions are severely undermined and circumvented by those charged with bringing about a paradigm shift in the degraded and polluted oil-producing narrative.
In view of the above, the EFCC’s current searchlight on the Commission cannot justifiably be described as routine. Regardless of his N25 billion fraud being investigated by the EFCC, given the way the NDDC has continued, it is not lauded to discerning Nigerians. It is clear. In fact, his NDDC situation, which took place shortly after the arrest and indictment of a former federal treasurer for fraud of 109 billion Naira, certainly speaks to the breakdown of the control system in Nigeria’s governance and government. No single government official should normally be in a position to control large payments without checks laid down, but these checks are usually at risk. While it is important to be able to arrest alleged impostors of the agency, it must be said that the real lesson is to return to reactivating the process of checks and balances. , relentless abuse of office and mismanagement of public funds by officials is impossible.
This means that those who are arrested and indicted, if convicted, are forced to face the wrath of the law to act as a deterrent against others seeking to illicitly enrich themselves with public funds. In addition to guaranteeing
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