More drama was recorded today, Thursday July 16 at the ongoing House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Affairs investigation into the activities of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The proceedings took an ugly turn as the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC; Keme Pondei and his team staged a walk-out.
Pondei accused the Chairman of the committee, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo of conflict of interest. He noted that he is a party of interest in the matter.
He said Tunji-Ojo had been fingered in the alleged fraud at the NDDC and so; cannot sit over the same matter in which he is accused.
His statement irked members of the committee which issued an arrest warrant against the NDDC acting MD; as well as other members of the interim management committee.
The committee also passed a vote of confidence on Tunji-Ojo who was accused of corruption in the NDDC affairs.
The legislator was alleged to have been awarded a road contract by the NDDC. This was before the new interim management came on board.
But he had denied the allegation which he described as baseless. Further, he challenged anyone with evidence to the contrary to bring it forward.
“I am the Chairman of the House Committee on NDDC in the House of Representatives; and I say without equivocation that I do not have any contract whatsoever at the commission,” Tunji-Ojo stated.
“I am aware of the responsibility bestowed upon me by the virtue of my chairmanship of this all important committee; and as a result, have kept my integrity and ability to perform my functions with good conscience without soiling my hands.”
The drama at Thursday’s hearing played out barely 24 hours after the NDDC management failed to appear before the committee’s sitting on Wednesday.
The house had resolved to investigate allegations of fraud in NDDC operations particularly with regard to award of contracts and expenses made.
Since the commencement of the probe, which is also being done at the senate; a series of drama has been playing out between the lawmakers and the NDDC, with both parties accusing each other of irregularities.
Joy Nunieh, former managing director at the NDDC, who was also scheduled to appear before the lawmakers, failed to show up after her house was besieged by armed policemen.