N5.4Bn Fraud: ICPC Investigates Four NDDC Officials 

Moses Ofodeme

The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on Sunday, August 30, disclosed that it investigated top management staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over allegations of diverse acts of corruption; including diversion of funds; procurement fraud; and misappropriation of the agency’s COVID-19 funds.

This was contained in a statement published on the ICPC website on Sunday.

It said some directors of NDDC were interrogated at the commission’s headquarters recently “after months of intelligence gathering; following the receipt of petitions from Nigerians on the alleged illegalities; and contract fraud by some officials of the agency.”

The statement reads, “Top officials of the agency are being investigated for their complicity in an alleged diversion of N5.474 billion meant for the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health workers handling the Covid-19 pandemic in the nine states of NDDC.

“The commission is also investigating the payments of millions of naira to some staff of the agency for foreign training; during the Covid-19 full lockdown, which were never attended; as well as the non-payment of entitlements to students on foreign scholarships.”

Other allegations being probed by ICPC include the selling of back-dated contract award letters; for projects and awards of contracts that were not captured in the budget of the NDDC.

The anti-graft agency said it had already retrieved relevant documents with which to continue investigations; towards the recovery of diverted funds and prosecution of breaches of the law.

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