President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has been tasked to go all out for corrupt officials of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), following uncountable allegations of projects abandonment, financial improprieties and fraud in the region.
The call was made Wednesday by a human rights lawyer and Executive Director, Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights, Frank Tie-Tie, during a radio program, PUBLIC CONSCIENCE produced by the Progressive Impact Organization for Community Development, PRIMORG.
Tietie said the present administration has been presented with a golden opportunity to bring corrupt elements of the NDDC to book.
While reacting to the arrest of four NDDC officials by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) last week, He described the arrest as mere invitations and summons which amount to nothing thereafter.
His words: “There is an expression that says “better late than never” but when there is an omission, it becomes a collusion. The purpose of setting up the Police or any anti-corruption agency like the EFCC or ICPC is first and foremost to prevent corruption.
“Our anti-corruption agencies sit back and collect salaries, they wait for petitions to be written, they are waiting for the National Assembly to hold the kind of drama we saw last time before they step into action. Does the ICPC need to wait for this type of national disgrace concerning the NDDC before they will decide to arrest persons? This is what is called window dressing.”
He lamented that the Niger Delta people are suffering glaring and apparent corruption, disregard for laws, disregard for appropriation laws and development of the region. Adding that “There seem to be a kind of collaboration and collusion on the part of anti-corruption agencies and the Federal Government in allowing this type of malfeasance going on in Niger Delta and we are yet to see persons in prison.”
The Human Rights Lawyer also called on President Buhari to immediately compel NDDC’s Executive Director of Projects, Cairo Ojougboh to immediately release list of prominent Nigerians who got contracts from the commission as a matter of urgent national importance.
Ojougboh, had in an interview with newsmen said Nigeria will break if the commission releases the list of highly placed Nigerians who have benefited from contracts awarded by NDDC.