Alleged Looting: Senator Nwaoboshi replies NDDC, disowns companies used for N3.6bn contracts

…insists the national embarrassment must stop 

By Haruna Salami

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs,  Senator  Peter Nwaoboshi, Delta North, has refuted claims that he collected contracts from the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC with eleven different companies without executing them.

The NDDC had in a statement by its spokesperson, Charles Odili  Monday morning, alleged that  Senator Nwaoboshi used 11 different companies as fronts to secure for himself N3.6billion in September 2016.

Mr Odili alleged further in the statement that the contract was the “biggest single case of looting of the Commission’s resources”.

But Nwaoboshi in a statement issued on Monday in Abuja , said the allegations were nothing but national embarrassment that must stop.

According to him , none of all the 11 companies listed belong to him as far as records at the Corporate Affairs Commission are concerned.

He challenged the NDDC officials to substantiate their allegations with required documents implicating him as evidence if they have .

“The smear campaign and character assassination of people perceived to be stumbling blocks against the rot in NDDC over the years must stop in the national interest”, he added .

The statement signed by his Special Assistant on Legislative and  Media Affairs , Luka Igbonoba , reads : “The charade in the past weeks by the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission to blackmail a routine task of the National Assembly to perform its oversight function as stated in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has no doubt, become a national embarrassment. 

“More so is the uncharitable and condemnable low of smear campaigns against members of the institution, churning out blatant lies that are easily verifiable. The latest, been a press release signed by a supposed civil servant, on allegations that are completely false and unfounded.

“They listed 11 companies and ascribed ownership to Distinguished Senator Peter Nwaoboshi. These are companies that he does not know nor had anything to do with. A simple search at Corporate Affairs Commission will, at least, show both former and present directors. How do you libelously claim a man owns companies that perhaps belong to other people? 

“Apparently, the officials might have generated names of companies they have probably used to siphon the peoples common patrimony, everyone involved must face the wrath of the law as it is expected that due diligence should precede any contract award. In any case, if the contracts were actually awarded in 2016 as alleged, the forensic audit which covers the period is expected to expose every detail surrounding these contracts and save the public from this shameless falsehood. 

“We strongly challenge NNDC to avail the public of the names of directors and shareholders of all the companies.

“For the umpteenth time, Senator Nwaoboshi once again declares that he is neither a director nor shareholder in any of the companies listed by NDDC. 

“Nigerians are aware that the misleading press release is just another desperate attempt to rescue the already shredded and tattered image of Godswill Akpabio.

“Senator Nwaoboshi, once again, stands on and reaffirms all he said in his last press conference as it concerns the Minister. He made it very clear and evidentially backed it up by presenting a memo written to him by Akpabio in 2017, requesting the inclusion of projects in the 2017 NDDC budget amounting to the tune of 500 million Naira. 

“The fact of this request is incontrovertibly true as contained in the said memo which is in the public domain. No amount of brazen denial can subvert the documented evidence. The commission keeps indicting itself in the desperate attempt to exonerate Akpabio”.

Nwaoboshi’s aide added in the statement that the  claim that some school desks and chairs purportedly produced for NDDC were diverted and supplied to Delta state government by him is a white lie from the pit of hell. 

“The inconsistency in lies dished out by the Interim management committee of NDDC against Senator Peter Nwaoboshi easily exposes the laughable attempt to smear an innocent man.  First, they alleged he was receiving 1billion Naira monthly as consultancy fee.  Same NDDC admitted that the allegation is false.

“They later turned around to allege that he received 1000 contracts. When that again fell like every other, the narrative changed to 350 contracts. All of a sudden, it has all collapsed to 11 contracts.  Soon, the number shall obviously come to zero.  That is the ways of lies; they crumble like pack of cards. 

“On this note, Senator Nwaoboshi challenges NDDC to allow for independent investigation of all contract awarded by the commission and see if findings would not show that Akpabio is the greatest beneficiary of contract awards and looter of the commission”, he added.