BY GRACE ANYANWU, ABUJA – The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) on Sunday took a critical look at the allegations of frauds and sleazes at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and thereby called on President Muhammadu Buhari to act fast to stop the abysmal drift of the Commission.
SERAP, specifically urged the President to without further delay, suspend the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio and all those so far implicated in the humongous allegations of fraud at the NDDC.
The organisation in a statement by its Deputy Director, Mr Kolawole Oluwadare, called on President Buhari to as a matter of necessity, set up a presidential panel to probe the corruption allegations in NDDC within 14 days.
It warned that failure of President Buhari to act decisively, will cause it to institute legal proceedings to compel his government to act as expected.
SERAP particularly requested that witnesses and whistle-blowers with regards to the fraud allegations at the NDDC should be protected while the findings of the investigation panel should be made public.
In the words of Oluwadare: “Where there is relevant admissible evidence, suspected perpetrators should be handed over to appropriate anti-corruption agencies for prosecution.
“Nigerians want to see development and prosperity in the Niger Delta and demand that Buhari takes the lead to get to the bottom of the allegations.
“A special panel to probe allegations of corruption in the NDDC, and that is able to work closely with anti-corruption agencies, 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 alleged corruption in the NDDC,” SERAP stressed.
It also noted that the investigation being carried out by the National Assembly has become controversial, and therefore turned into a ‘dirty fight” with the NDDC management.
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