On its part, spokesperson of NDRA, Darlington Nwauju, in a statement in Port Harcourt, said: “We consider this as one of the several disingenuous and inchoate scripts aimed at diverting the attention of the public from the real issues plaguing that commission.
“We recall that sometime in January 2020, specifically on 10th, a 50-man Contracts Verification Committee, CVC, headed by Ojougboh, was set-up with the Director Project Monitoring and Supervision (Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua) as Deputy Chairman and Director, Community and Rural Development, Mrs Iyingi Numbere, as Secretary.
“This committee was given two weeks to document and verify all projects embarked upon by the NDDC in the nine mandate states of the commission and turn in its report without hindrance.
“The claim by the NDDC was that there were several fake Interim Payment Certificates, IPCs, and the NDDC needed to stop frivolous payments and even arrest such purveyors of fake IPCs in order to set the tone for the forensic audit exercise.
“Based on this latest expository of an obviously confused management team, led by Pondei, is it not abundantly clear that there is breach of Public Service Rules and Regulations and criminal breach of trust for the NDDC IMC to pay for jobs without verification, even after publicly declaring that it had set-up such a committee?
“We, therefore, demand that the 50-member CVC be immediately arrested for deceiving Niger Deltans and allowances paid them for the two weeks period be refunded immediately and the affected professional staff members who are members of this committee, be relieved of their duties.
“Again, we restate our call for the sack of the Pondei-led IMC for breach of public trust and conspiracy to continue to deprive the people of the region of meaningful development.”