By Mike Odiegwu, Port Harcourt
The Niger Delta Improvement Fee (NDDC) has defined that its appearing Managing Director, Prof. Keme Pondei, collapsed on the Nationwide Meeting as a result of he ignored his medical doctors’ recommendation on his state of well being.
A press release signed by the Director, Company Affairs, Charles Odili, mentioned Pondei has been sick for the previous two weeks however that his situation deteriorated Monday morning necessitating his medical doctors to advise him towards attending the listening to.
Odili mentioned: “The fee needs to reveal that Prof Pondei has been sick for the previous two weeks. This morning, his situation deteriorated, and his medical doctors suggested towards attending the listening to.
“Nevertheless, he ignored his medical doctors’ recommendation due to the realisation that his traducers will use his absence on the listening to to soil his title and fame. He thought he might make it via the listening to and maintain his well being later. Because it turned out, his medical doctors had been proper. Prof Pondei is in a steady situation at a clinic in Abuja.”
Odili mentioned that Pondei assumed workplace on February 20, 2020 and by Might 5, the 2 arms of the Nationwide Meeting ordered a probe of his tenure, two third of which was spent beneath COVID-19 lockdown circumstances.
He famous that following his place, Pondei, has an official responsibility to reply for the actions of the fee and what occurred between 2008 – 2012 “which is the topic of one other listening to based mostly on the auditor normal’s report for the interval.”
He mentioned: “It might, nonetheless, be unfair to carry him personally chargeable for acts which befell when he was not the top of the Fee. When the 2 arms of the Nationwide Meeting known as for a probe, it was over a lacking N40bn. The Fee took the uncommon step of publishing all funds made by it beneath Prof Pondei. No organisation in Nigeria, public or personal has ever obtained to that stage of transparency in our nationwide historical past.
“As this publication undermined the claims of his accusers, the topic of the general public listening to modified to ‘monetary recklessness’. Whereas this would possibly seem insignificant, it amounted to altering the aim posts to smear a clear man. Whereas misappropriation of N40bn is a matter demanding goal proof, the query of monetary recklessness is one open to subjective judgement.
“The Fee is delighted that Olubunmi Ojo, the Chairman of the Home of Representatives Committee on NDDC has recused himself from the listening to. On the finish of the day, everybody has to reply for his function within the misappropriation of the sources of the Fee.
“It’s this seek for solutions that led President Muhammadu Buhari, on the request of the 9 governors of the area, to institute a forensic audit to probe what occurred to the sources of the Fee from 2001 thus far.
“The Prof Pondei led IMC has dedicated to the success of that train. Whereas we thought there will probably be a combat again by those that dipped their fingers within the cookie’s jar, we by no means anticipated this stage of boldness and malevolent aggression as witnessed by accusers at listening to and their paid brokers via all of the media platforms.
“The Fee is collaborating on the listening to, although it thinks that seeing to the conclusion of the forensic audit will serve the way forward for the Fee and the Niger Delta area greater than the probe of 74 days of actions.”