Sat. Nov 28th, 2020

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CSOs Accuse Wike of Frustrating NDDC Probe

…Urges sacked MD to submit self for investigation

As intrigues continue to trail developments at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Civil Society Advocacy Groups for Accountability and Probity has urged the sacked former Acting Managing Director of the Commission, Dr. Joy Nunieh to submit herself to the various authorities for investigation of allegations of corruption and insubordination leveled against her.

The CSOs at a press conference jointly addressed by Comrade Solomon Adodo, Comrade Igwe Ude-umanta, Convener and Co-convener of the group respectively also accused the opposition led by the Rivers state Governor, Nyesome Wike of frustrating efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari to sanitise the NDDC.

According to the CSOs, the efforts of President Buhari to reposition the commission to actualize the vision for its establishment had began to yield fruit but for the efforts of powerful persons who had converted it to their private estate.

“As the group that keeps watch on Society, the media is aware that since President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to sanitize the Niger-Delta Development Committee (NDDC) last year, it has received support by concerned Nigerians, but has also been under heavy politicization by those who know that their hands are soiled. They have taken to the media (social and traditional), organized protests, sponsored riots all to no avail. They tried to discredit the wisdom and discretion of Mr. President in taking some administrative decisions such as the setting up of an Interim Management Committee to carry out a thorough forensic audit. As we speak today, the probe into the activities of the various previous managements of the NDDC is ongoing and being thoroughly carried out by the Interim Management Committee.
“The will of the Federal Government to confront the ills in the NDDC is unshaken. So, the politics has increased in order to divert attention. But of particular worry is the reason why the former Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Dr. Joy Nunieh has refused to answer her summons to appear before the Investigative Committee of the House of Representatives on the NDDC. She has also refused to yield to the Nigeria Police for questioning. What else could be the reason except evasion of justice?

“And it becomes more worrisome when Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, shields her from arrest, claiming that she was being abducted, and that he was protecting a citizen of Rivers State. Gov. Wike has always found reasons to obstruct investigations. We are sad that Wike who claims to be the defender of Rivers people only extends that defense to those who have been accused of feeding fat on the country or other crimes. He should desist forthwith. And he should release Dr Joy Nunieh to the Nigeria Police for investigation.

No matter how Gov. Wike tries to sugar-coat the obstruction of a lawful arrest, it has simply betrayed the covert attempt by these people who have diverted the resources of the NDDC to collaborate with the opposition to frustrate the determined effort of Mr. President to clean up the NDDC. That action by Wike is nothing other than outright and well calculated sabotage of investigation into a crime”, the CSOs noted.

It further asked the former NDDC acting managing director, Nunieh to clean of all allegations against her saying it was the honorable thing to be done by any sane citizen.

“Let us also inform the public that beyond the allegations before Dr. Nunieh on her activities at the NDDC, she also has a case of Perjury which this group has petitioned the Inspector General of Police about since last week. We insist that she lied on oath, and that is criminal.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Dr Joy Nunieh deposed to an affidavit before a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on October 23, 2019 in which she claimed that she lost her National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) Call-up Letter and Certificate of Discharge. This is a lie which she told a Court of Law in order to obtain an undue favour. The fact of the matter is that though the Nigerian Law School forwarded her name for the National Youth Service, she never participated. This is an allegation she should simply appear before the Nigeria Police to answer. If she is not guilty of Perjury, the NYSC will bring their records to absolve her. It is quite simple.

“We insist that she lied on oath. And she should and must answer to it. Gov. Nyesom Wike who is a lawyer should stop obstructing justice. Let Dr. Joy Nunieh, a lawyer also, come forward and prove that indeed she lost her NYSC Call-up Letter and Certificate of Discharge”, the group stressed.

It further urged President Mohammadu Buhari to remain resolute in his commitment to sanitise the NDDC for the benefit all of Niger Deltans and assured him of total support to actualize his vision.

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