The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has disclosed that its acting Managing Director slumped at the investigative hearing of the House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta; because he ignored the advice of his doctor.
The Ag NDDC MD who appeared alongside the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio; collapsed during the interrogation by the members of the committee.
This was contained in a press statement issued by Charles Obi Odili, the Director, Corporate Affairs of the NDDC, who confirmed that the Ag MD has been sick for 2weeks.
“The Commission wishes to disclose that Prof Pondei has been ill for the past two weeks. This morning, his condition deteriorated; and his doctors advised against attending the hearing.
“However, he ignored his doctors’ advice; because of the realisation that his traducers will use his absence at the hearing to soil his name and reputation.
“He thought he could make it through the hearing and take care of his health later. As it turned out, his doctors were right. Prof Pondei is in a stable condition at a clinic in Abuja,” the statement reads in part.
The commission also said that Ag MD was only in the saddle for about three months before the National Assembly ordered the probe into the activities of the NDDC, noted that he is not the one that ought to be under probe.
“Prof Pondei became Ag Managing Director of NDDC on February 20, 2020. By May 5, the two arms of the National Assembly ordered a probe of his tenure of exactly 74 days at the time; two-third of which was spent under Covid-19 lockdown conditions.”
“Prof Pondei, as the Managing Director of the Commission, has an official duty to answer for the activities of the Commission; like what happened between 2008 – 2012 which is the subject of another hearing based on the auditor general’s report for the period.
“It would, however, be unfair to hold him personally liable; for acts which took place when he was not the head of the Commission.”