A researcher, Mr Kolawole Johnson has told the House of Reps Panel investigating the spending of NDDC that some officials of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) paid monies meant for students under scholarship into their personal accounts.
Kolawole who is the Head of Research at the Act for Positive Transformation Initiative (APTI), made the claim on Friday when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on the NDDC.
According to him, he found out about this through thorough investigation and alleged that the Commission’s Executive Director of Project, Dr Cairo Ojougboh and Managing Director, Professor Kemebradikumo Pondei were among officials who diverted the scholarship monies into their private accounts.
“They (students) kept crying that their dues are not being paid and they are being locked out by their schools,” the researcher stated.
He claimed that while the students were complaining of the non-payment of the scholarship monies, “the NDDC team were busy paying themselves monies meant for students.”
Mr Kolawole explained that some of the beneficiaries of the commission’s scholarship scheme have reached out to and challenged him on social media to help them tell Nigerians about their plight.
He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to come to the aid of the students “as fast as possible, even if it means bending the rules.”
The House Committee on NDDC have summoned the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godswill Akpabio, to appear and make presentations before it on Monday, July 20, 2020.
The committee also summoned the MD of the Commission, Pondei to appear before it on the same day.
This came after the former MD of the NDDC, Joy Nunieh, on Friday gave her testimony at the House Committee on Public Hearing via zoom.
Ms. Nunieh was billed to appear before the committee on Thursday but her house was besieged by some security agents, hindering her from making a physical appearance.
In her presentation which she made to the committee, she defended herself against allegations of corruption, arguing that there was no contractor that paid bribes.