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    Senate may probe govs’ role in N6.25bn NDDC palliative scam

    The Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, on Tuesday, said it would extend its N6.2bn Covid-19 palliative fund probe to the nine governors of the Niger Delta region, who were said to have collected N100m each from the Niger Delta Development Commission.

    The committee has also given the Sole Administrator of the NDDC, Effiong Akwa, 48-hour grace to produce members of the Prof. Daniel Pondei-led interim committee of the agency or risk arrest.

    The panel had on February 22 resolved that the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, be contacted by the executive arm of government through the Senate leadership to produce Pondei and his team before the Ethics Committee on March 9.

    Briefing journalists on the issue on Tuesday, the Chairman of the panel, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, said the Akwa-led management had up till Thursday to produce Pondei and his team or risk being arrested.

    Akinyelure said, “We have already gone through the process of warrant of arrest and we have reached 95 per cent stage of completion.

    “However, for the avoidance of doubt, immediately the warrant of arrest was issued, representatives of the sole administrator came to my office and verbally explained how the money was spent.

    “They claimed that N100m each was given to the nine state governors in the Niger Delta region.

    “We now asked them to make written submission on their claims to reach us before March 15, which was Monday, but up till today (Tuesday), we have not seen anything. This particular probe will not be swept under the carpet.

    “Therefore, we are calling on the NDDC sole administrator to either produce the Pondei-led interim management committee team or make available the position paper on how the palliatives were shared on or before 3pm on March 18 so that we can study the submissions before March 29, when they are expected to defend their position papers.

    “We will now call the governors to come and account for it, because none of the 27 senators from the Niger Delta region is aware of the COVID-19 palliative shared to the governors by the NDDC. None of our constituents also benefitted.”

    Copyright PUNCH.

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