Sanctions Dangle Over Akpabio, Interim Mgt as Oshiomhole Move to Enforce Ethics
Interim Mgt Team Distances Self from Racket, Escalates Rift with Minister
Full Bank Details and phoney Companies that profited from the Scam…
By Dotun Akintomide (The New Diplomat Online Editor)
As the feverish atmosphere generated by the dubious and inappropriate payment of about N1.9bn Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) questionable water hyacinth contracts to some companies allegedly linked to Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, escalates in the Niger Delta region, The New Diplomat has uncovered various phoney companies ( with their bank details ) to which the reported unauthorized payment of N1.9bn were made to on the directive of Senator Akpabio.
The New Diplomat investigations reveal that the controversial approval and payment of N1.9bn to these various companies which were allegedly executed in breach of due process without recourse to any “tender, due process or proper documentation and saw payments being effected without raising vouchers, a situation which reportedly raised a red flag at NDDC’s Finance department”, prompted top bureaucrats at the NDDC to report their displeasure over the sad development to top Presidency officials as well as top hierarchy of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) including its national Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.
Insiders confided in The New Diplomat that the interim Management team at the NDDC, senior Presidency Officials and the leadership of the APC are very alarmed and highly disappointed that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Akpabio could stoop so low to be consigning himself to payments of alleged “questionable Water Hyacinth Contracts deals in NDDC of about N1.9n which many believe are monies for the youths when there are serious critical issues and challenges of massive infrastructure, education, health, massive road infrastructure and bridges that are crying for attention in the Niger Delta.” The New Diplomat gathered that some of the companies allegedly fingered as conduit-pipes are mere brief case firms with no known history of work done previously. In fact, the following companies which the Minister reportedly approved payments for had no website to even authenticate their background! These include AUCICC Investment Ltd with FCMB Account details and address at 128 Eliowhani Road Port Harcourt; Betma Multipupose Services with GTBANK account details and address at 21 Lucky Street, off Road 24 AGIP estate, Port Harcourt; Ideanergy Nigeria Limited with ZENITH Bank Account details with office address at no 2 Ebony Road, Port Harcourt; Dartcom Projects Nig Ltd with FIRST BANK account details with office address at 6 Ndahbros Street, Trans Amadi; Rocksky Ventures with FCMB Account details and with office address at 18 Abuloma Road, Borokiri Port Harcourt and Niron International (Nig)Ltd with Keystone Bank details and with office location at 12 Abuloma Road, Port Harcourt.(SEE FULL LIST OF COMPANIES AND THEIR BANK DETAILS ATTACHED)
The controversial Water Hyacinth racket payments are said to have angered Presidency officials and Comrade Oshiomhole. Sources disclosed that this development may lead to alleged sanctions being meted out against the Minister and the interim Management team of NDDC for allegedly breaching directives and for failure to align themselves fully with the agenda of the administration. Said a top official of government: “ It is a big shame that a Minister has got himself entrapped in the web of payment scandal of water hyacinth in the NDDC. Your role as a Minister is to design creative policies and set standard policy direction for the Ministry. Issues of payments are left for the Permanent secretary of the Ministry. So, the Minister by getting directly involved in this contract deals of water hyacinth, has mis- interpreted his role and functions. The youths are now accusing him of changing the old list of companies approved by the old management team and having that old list replaced with new list which allegedly had 400 slots allocated to companies linked to him. I think it’s a big mess. The Party is not happy. Comrade as (Adams Oshiomhole) as Chairman of the APC, our great party is very disappointed. And he has said, he will take up the matter…”
In fact, a former Commissioner in Edo State who served under Comrade Oshiomhole when the later was Governor of Edo State and wishes to remain anonymous reiterated at the weekend that the APC chairman may have resolved to take up this issue as a serious ethical breach because as he puts it ‘ it amounts to engaging in acts capable of doing damage to very high integrity and reputation of Mr President and also tarnishing the good image of our great party.” He said: “ It’s a serious ethical breach. You just simply replaced approved names with new ones without tender, no due process followed , no procedural award , and you had these companies paid N1.9bn NDDC funds.. . These are funds meant for roads, bridges, education and in fact critical infrastructure projects in the Niger Delta region.”
In their reaction, APC stakeholders in Akwa Ibom said they are not surprised about this development at the NDDC, stressing that that accounted for why they earlier appealed to President Buhari to relocate the NDDC back to the Presidency to prevent Akpabio from reportedly plunging the Niger Delta region into another round of crisis at a time when our economy needs the prevailing peace and stability arising from peace in the Niger Delta creeks that have allowed for a regime of effective Oil and gas production activities. “ We are not surprised. Have you forgotten how he betrayed the man who brought him from Lagos, made him Commissioner in Akwa Ibom State?, I am talking about our elder-statesman, Obong Victor Attah. And have the media forgotten how he betrayed Obong Attah to Obasanjo. He teamed up with Obasanjo against Governor Attah, who is one of the most respected professional Architects in Nigeria and indeed Africa. Obasanjo made Senator Akpabio Governor. So we know where their loyalty lie … We are not deceived by this later day moves.”
Comrade Izon Ebi, an ex-militant leader who led over 2000 youths to disrupt operations at the NDDC last week while protesting against the alleged payment of N1.9bn to reported phoney companies with purported links to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs called on President Buhari “as a great, honest and patriotic leader who means very well for the Niger Delta region and is deeply committed to addressing the plight of the people of the Niger Delta to as a matter of urgency move the NDDC to the Office of the Chief of Staff to the President or the Secretary to the Government of the Federation as the case in the United States to prevent the current Minister from triggering serious actions that could lead to violence and fresh round of agitations in the Niger Delta.”
It would be recalled that Akpabio was recently fingered in an illegal recruitment racket of 300 staff into the NDDC but he quickly reversed himself following The New Diplomat’s expose of the recruitment scam which attracted the attention of Comrade Oshiomhole who reprimanded the Minister. That controversy had hardly died down when the Minister was reportedly named in an alleged N1.9bn controversial WATER HYACINTH NDDC payment deal to companies reportedly linked to the Minister.