The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has dismissed the N40bn fraud allegations against the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission.
The Senate had, on Tuesday, set up an ad hoc committee headed by Senator Olubunmi Adetunbi to investigate the financial transactions carried out by the IMC on behalf of the commission in the last three months.
But Akpabio, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Anietie Ekong, on Friday, described the allegations as a campaign of calumny, saying the current administration of the NDDC had not awarded any contracts.
It read in part, “In response to the campaign of calumny, the commission had explained that the Interim Management Committee has only approved the total payment of N18bn for contractual claims.
“The present management has not awarded any single contract. So where is the bogey N40bn coming from? It is instructive that the commission under the supervision of Senator Akpabio has devised a strategy by which only duly verified and inspected contracts with photo and video evidence are recommended and approved for payments.
“In fact, he will welcome a public hearing beamed live for all Nigerians to see. The probe of the Commission along with the ongoing forensic audit will expose those who have used their exalted positions over the years to fleece the NDDC through fully paid contracts which were never executed and other forms of contact racketeering.
“The minister will remain focused on the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari to reposition the commission for sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.”