NDDC Probe Joi Nunieh Reveals How She was Pressured – full details here

NDDC Probe Joi Nunieh
NDDC Probe Joi Nunieh

Nddc probe Joi Nunieh Reveals How She was Pressured – details here

Nddc probe Joi Nunieh Reveals How She was Pressured to spend 10bn on Christmas palliatives – see details she shared below

The immediate past Acting Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr. Joy Nuniel, told on Friday of how pressure was mounted on her to give out Christmas palliatives last year to the tune of N10 billion.

According to her, if she yielded, each of the states under the operations of the commission would have collected a minimum of N1 billion.

She told the House of Representatives on Niger Delta that it was one of the ‘sins’ that cost her the appointment.

The committee is investigating the financial dealings of the commission.

Nunieh also accused Niger Delta Affairs Minister Godswill Akpabio of upsetting a lot of things at the commission.

The House Committee summoned the minister to appear before it on Monday to come and respond to the allegations against him.

Akpabio himself threatened to sue Nunieh for defamation after the former NDDC boss alleged that the minister made sexual overtures to her which she rejected.

Akpabio said:

“There is no scintilla of truth in all the allegations peddled around by Ms. Nunieh. They are simply false!”

Ruling on Friday on an ex parte application filed by Nunieh, a Rivers State High Court granted an interim injunction restraining the police from inviting or arresting her, pending the determination of the substantive case before the court.

The ruling came a few hours after the police in the state said that the deployment of policemen to Nunieh’s Port Harcourt residence on Thursday was official and was known to the Inspector General .

They asked Governor Nyesom Wike who ‘rescued’ her from the police on the day to release her ostensibly for interrogation.

Testifying before the House of Reps on the Zoom platform on Friday, Nunieh said all the talk about forensic audit in the NDDC was false as no such audit has started despite alleged huge payments made for the purpose.

She said:

“Two days after our inauguration, at the same Le Meridien Hotel (Port Harcourt), that was his first meeting with the IMC (Interim Management Committee), namely Dr. Cairo Ojougboh; the late EDFA, which I will not be talking about much, let me respect his soul, and the only other staff of the NDDC that was there, one Mr. Etiebet, who later became the head of the procurement unit.

“At that meeting, he (Akpabio) reminded me about the dollars.

Secondly, he told me that he wanted me to send some staff away

that they were the ones that spoilt Mrs Akwagaga (Enyia) who refused to sign and make certain payments and that he did not want them to spoil me.

“He said the first thing I would do was to write a letter to him – he gave me the draft; that I should put it on my letterhead.

In that letter, I was supposed to write that Senator (Peter) Nwaboshi owned the 98 companies. I never ever told the world that Senator Nwaboshi was the senator that was collecting the N1 billion.

“The issue of the N1 billion was different. I said how can an individual be collecting N1 billion every month? The case of Senator Nwaboshi is the case of the 98 companies which I was supposed to write about.

The other thing was for employment. Of course, he had collected CVs from all gangs of godfathers.

I also said I’m from the Niger Delta, and before I came, there was the issue of employment.

The Federal Character Commission was giving NDDC the approval for employment, but that was stopped because of the scandal.

I want to tell the world that I never did any employment. I never gave out a single contract from NDDC.”

On allegations of corruption against her, she said: “I am not corrupt.

No contractor can sit anywhere and say they gave me N10.

And I can say before the world that I’m the most unpopular MD ever that came to NDDC.

“The money of the people of Niger Delta is blood money; I refused to touch it.

Even when my friends were contractors, even when they claimed that they were owed monies, my instruction was that everybody should go and finish their jobs.

“Everybody saw contractors go back to sites when I was MD.

I was privileged to see all the videos. For one job, five people would send me videos of completion – the same job, the same video – and I would just laugh.”

The former NDDC boss blamed the problems in the NDDC on three groups.

In her words, she said:

“One group is the management, which is the IMC, and everybody is against the IMC. The second group is the staff of NDDC.

And the third group, which I will start with, is the people of Niger Delta.

“This story that we are all calling embarrassing stories cannot be complete without saying that the people of the Niger Delta region are responsible for what has happened

the frauds and corruption that have taken place in the NDDC. I’m speaking from personal experience.

“As soon as an MD is appointed, people begin to rejoice and celebrate, not because they want you to do the right thing;

not because they are interested in the development of the Niger Delta; but because they believe that it is now their turn to eat of the national cake.

“They are not interested in anything. All they want is like palliatives.

That is why for those who did not harden their heart like me, they fell for this palliative matter and they started giving out.

“But because I was strong; because I always remembered the case of Gani Fawehinmi. Fawehinmi fought for the masses of this country.

When he said he wanted to contest an election, they were not there. I remember that I needed to stand properly.

The second class is the staff, The staff of NDDC are from the Niger Delta region. The contracts that have been awarded are for their communities.

Nddc probe Joi Nunieh

“When I was appointed, I went from office to office; I sat in their offices and I told them, ‘You people are responsible for what has gone wrong in the zone.’

Nddc probe Joi Nunieh

“All the staff have in their wards or local government areas projects. If every staff of NDDC takes up a project in their local government area and ensures that they are well done, we will not have these issues.

“Thirdly, the IMC. For the first time in the history of NDDC, no palliatives were given. I did not give out Christmas palliatives.

I was under pressure to bring N10bn – N1bn per state – but I refused.

The youths were complaining that things were difficult and I said ‘the day I give you this money, you know I have started collecting your money.’

“I never gave any Christmas bonus or palliative during my time. For the first time in the history of NDDC, NDDC worked throughout December. There was no break except on public holidays.”

When asked to speak on the forensic audit by the Chairman of the Committee, for which the IMC was constituted

Nunieh said:

“What I met was not exactly what is going on. Akpabio insisted that he would supervise the forensic audit.

NDDC Probe Joi Nunieh

I reminded and showed him the letter that the President had written, and told him that there was no way we could spend the money that was in our budget.

“In his memo to the President, he requested that the money for the funding of the forensic audit be gotten from the Service Wide Vote. Mr. President, in his wisdom, refused that request and in writing said that it should be from NDDC’s appropriation, making NDDC the producing entity.

“When I was there, I was the one who prepared all the documents for the forensic audit and sent in the applications.

“The first thing was for us to go through the procurement of the lead consultant. Many people have clearly misunderstood the procurement of the lead consultant.

NDDC Probe Joi Nunieh

“But because I did not want any illegality and the forensic audit to be discredited, I, with the help of big consultants, came up with the terms of reference for these auditors. The lead consultant that everyone is talking about is not the forensic auditor.

“When all the forensic auditors have gotten all the data and reports from fields, they will put them together and give to the lead consultant who will put them together in a report. That is just his role. He is not the one to carry out any forensic audit.”

Nddc probe Joi Nunieh

She claimed that none of the nine companies touted as having been saddled with carrying out the forensic audit has any such experience.

She said what should have been done was to write to the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to furnish the commission with a list of registered and reputable auditing firms that have carried out forensic audit in the country before.

She said that the Minister for Niger Delta Affairs misled Nigerians when he said that the National Assembly prompted her to move the forensic audit.

She denied reports that N642 million was paid by the IMC for media support for the forensic audit, saying while there as the MD, the only payment she made was directly to the media houses.

She claimed that she never paid any money for forensic audit since there was none going on and since the auditors had not been appointed because the appropriation for the audit had not been passed.

She also alleged that Senator Akpabio wanted her to award contracts for the supply of medical equipment which the commission already had in its store but she refused to oblige him, rather requesting him to pass on the instruction in writing.

Also testifying before the committee yesterday, the Head of Research at the Act for Positive Transformation Initiative (APTI), Johnson Kolawole, alleged that some NDDC officials diverted monies meant for students under scholarship into their personal accounts.

”They (students) kept crying that their dues are not being paid and they are being locked out by their schools,” Kolawole said.

NDDC Probe Joi Nunieh

He claimed that while the students were complaining of the non-payment of the scholarship monies, “the NDDC team were busy paying themselves monies meant for students.”

He said some of the affected students had reached out to him to complain about their plight.

He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to come to the aid of the students “as fast as possible, even if it means bending the rules.”

He also said that the IMC had expended over N80 billion between January 2020 and May 2020 as against the N22 billion repeatedly portrayed by the IMC.

He said that the 2019 Appropriation Act as passed by the National Assembly provided for some emergency projects across the state in the region with an additional N800 million as emergency contingency sum.

According to him, the IMC has spent N20 billion on emergency road repairs; there are fraudulent cases of contract inflation and non-implementation.

“How would they explain the payment of N13.6 million for consultancy on the construction of ‘infant Jesus’?

He said:

“On May 19, 2020, the IMC paid a firm N39.375 million as consultancy fee for rebuttal. What a waste!

“The company had earlier received 34 million naira into its account for ‘consultancy on reputation management for NDDC’.

“Same day, when businesses and countries were closing their doors, the same company was paid N34 million for ‘Niger Delta Development Forum in Washington DC, USA’ and another N32.9 million for ‘Summit on NDDC and Investment Opportunities in Dorchester, London’, same day.

NDDC Probe Joi Nunieh

“There was no evidence of implementation of above contracts. Money paid went to private individuals; this ad hoc committee can call for the account statements of the firm to verify this.

“Same company received into same account a sum of 536 Million Naira for “campaign to save lives” in the Niger Delta on April 23, 2020.

NDDC Probe Joi Nunieh

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