Chairman of Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum, Comrade Prince Kpokpogri, has described the probe of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by the National Assembly as a caricature and headless task.
The anti-corruption activist also said that the current Interim Management Committe (IMC) of the interventionist agency was the best thing that has happened to the Commission since inception.
These positions were contained in a statement by Kpokpogri which he made available to newsmen in Abuja on Friday.
Describing the move by the National Assembly as a shot in the dark and legislative busy body, Kpokpogri wondered why the lawmakers wanted to question the Minister and the IMC for lawfully paying certified contractors for projects executed.
"Is the National Assembly saying that contractors who were owed over a year ago should not be paid even after the contracts were certified duly executed? Are they aggrieved that some of their youth contractors had been denied opportunities for more fraudulent jobs? Or are they angry that there would be no more free money from contracts that were never executed?” he asked.
The anti-corruption crusader therefore, advised the NASS to stop chasing shadows and focus on more pressing national concern of the moment.
He alleged that some politicians who have lost out in the scheme of things in the Commission were behind the headless probe by the National Assembly. He accused them of trying to hit back, as the Minister and the IMC diligence have stopped them from using NDDC as a conduit pipe to stack money for 2023 election.
The activist further asked that if the petition to probe the hard working Interim Management Committee of NDDC was not representing vested interest, then why must spending N40 billion to offset contractual debts become a matter of urgent public importance in an era of Coronavirus pandemic?
According to Kpokpogri, "Let me tell the world that the Senate invitation on Akpabio is just an agenda to mount pressure on him to intimidate him, just for disappointing their fraudulent antics. But he should not be perturbed; it's only but a game.
"I, Comrade Kpokpogri is saying that the Interim Management Committee is the best thing that has happened so far in NDDC. We have never had it this good in Niger Delta. Is the Senate saying that contractors should not be paid? It is high time this nonsense stopped.
"What about the petition against the fraudulent administration of the former acting MD of NDDC, Prof. Brambrafa, which was read at the floor of the Senate and heard during public hearing? Why has the National Assembly not come up with the outcome of the investigation? Why have those who had looted the Commission dry for they and their godfathers not been penalized for corrupt offences?
"I call on the Presidency to disregard any blackmail against the person of Senator Akpabio. We have passed a vote of confidence on him. He is doing what the NDDC was created for, which is to better the lives of the Niger Delta people as an Interventionist Agency.
"Finally, I advise the National Assembly to find something good and of national value to do and stop chasing shadows", Kpokpogri concluded.
By Jimi Anjolaoluwa - Abuja