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Akpabio sings again, names Ibori, Uduaghan, Orji Kalu in NDDC corruption

Akpabio sings again, names Ibori, Uduaghan, Orji Kalu in NDDC corruption

Akpabio has identified the region ‘s former governors as beneficiaries of the corruption which has become the NDDC tale.

Niger Delta Minister Godswill Akpabio has appointed former Delta State Governors James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan, former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu and Senator Ifeanyi Ararume to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as beneficiaries of the corruption.

Gbajabiamila had then requested the minister to produce the lawmakers’ names within 48 hours or face the law’s full wrath.

In an attached document by the House of Representatives to its reaction to the ultimatum, Akpabio mentioned senators who have earned 74 commission contracts from 2017 to date.

As it turns out, the paper also included the lists of former governors from the oil-rich area of the country’s delta.

The letter, which was also copied to the Federation / Minister of Justice attorney general’s office, was addressed to the House clerk, Mr Patrick Giwa, with reference number MNDA / HM/04 / IV/158.

It was labeled ‘Contracts allegedly issued to some members of the National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) by some Niger Delta Development Commissions.’

The associated emergency repair contracts were awarded in 2018 at cost ranging between N400 m and N560 m each, according to the document obtained by Punch.

One of the projects connected to Ibori was the N485.7 m cost emergency repair of the Onoghove community road from Ajanesan to Western Delta University.

Uduaghan was associated at a cost of N429 m with the emergency repairs of Close B, Alhaji Estate & Environs, Rumuodomaya, Port Harcourt.

Five projects were linked to Senate Chief Whip Kalu, who has been described as OUK-Kalu in the paper.

The maintenance work on road projects related to Kalu are in Abia State, and the costs ranged from N517 m to N560 m.

The specifics are: Ezere-Acha-Ndiokoukwu Road (N517.9 m) emergency repairs, and Amaubiri-Eluama-Uru Ring Road repairs, Lokpaukwu, Umuchieze (N560 m).

Other connections to Kalu include Ndi Oji Abam-Atan Road (N523.7 m), Okafia-Ozuitem-Bende Road (508 m) and Ozu-Amuru-Abam Road (N523.4 m).

The costs of the 12 projects linked to Senator Ararume, located in the States of Imo and Rivers, were not listed in the documents.

Some of the projects connected to Ararume include Umelemai-Aba branch road emergency repairs, Anara-Okwelle-Umuna Street, Okpara-Road junction-Ogili Community; all in Imo State.

‘Abuse of trust’

Ibori, who ruled the Delta State from 1999 to 2007, pleaded guilty in 2012 at the Southwark Crown Court in London to 10 counts of fraud and money laundering, and was sentenced to 13 years behind bars.

Ibori was released from jail in December 2016 after completing half of his term in pre- and post-trial detention and is now back in Nigeria, dictating who rules his state and senatorial district at every election cycle.

Uduaghan, a political benefactor and friend of Ibori, served as governor of the Delta from 2007 to 2015.

Kalu, who ruled the Abia State from 1999 to 2007, was recently found guilty and imprisoned by a high-ranking federal court for diverting N7.65 billion from the state treasury during his stint.

Kalu ‘s conviction has been reversed by the Supreme Court, citing procedural inconsistencies.

The NDDC, founded in 2000 to bridge the development and infrastructure gap in an oil-rich yet poor area of the Niger Delta, has been mired in corruption and endemic bribery allegations.

Since its formation, trillions of Naira have made their way to the NDDC coffers, with very little to display on the field.

“People trusted by previous administration and this administration have violated confidence,” the president said. “A lot of properties have been recovered, and some money has been recovered.

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