The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to set up an investigation panel to probe corruption allegations in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), including alleged spending of N81.5bn on travels, condolences, consultancy and public communication between January and July, 2020.
SERAP also asked the president to “immediately suspend Mr. Godswill Akpabio, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs” and all those implicated in the allegations pending the outcome of any such investigation.
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In a letter dated July 18, 2020, and signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said witnesses and whistle-blowers must be protected and the findings of the investigation should be made public.
It said, “These are extremely serious allegations. Nigerians expect that those who run the NDDC should be free of corruption and should enjoy no impunity.
“Nigerians who want to see development and prosperity in the Niger Delta will want you to take the lead to get to the bottom of these allegations and take appropriate and decisive action to address them.”
It further said a special panel to probe allegations of corruption in the NDDC would protect the integrity of the forensic audit, remove the possibility of obstruction of justice and interference in the process by those suspected to be involved in the alleged corruption at the NDDC.
SERAP further urged President Buhari to instruct the police and security agencies to immediately end the harassment and intimidation of Ms. Joy Nunieh, former Acting Managing Director (MD) of NDDC, or any other witness and whistle-blower.