NDDC N4.8b Fraud: Akpabio Sends Staff On Mandatory Retirement Over Leaked Documents

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Godswil Akpabio

Godswill Akpabio has sent Staff on Mandatory Leave and Retirement for Leaking to the Public the Obscene Corruption Being Perpetrated by NDDC’s Interim Management Committee, IMC.

The corruption saga in the NDDC yesterday took another dimension as the Minister of the Niger Affairs, Godswill Akpabio and the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development NDDC, sent letters to the staff of all cadres who are perceived to be opposed to the reckless and corrupt practice in the award of contracts to proceed on mandatory leave and early retirement.

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The move came just two days after a contract award letter exposing corruption in the award of a contract to Signoria Concept Services Limited, and Osmoserve Global Limited was leaked to the public.

In a desperate move to cover up their tracks, Godswill Akpabio and his Interim Management Committee sent letters to some of the staff of the NDDC. They are the most trained and experienced to better manage the affairs of the Commission to proceed on mandatory leave and early retirement in a bid to silence them for opposing his illegal and corrupt practices in the award contracts.

With this cleansing, the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is now left in the hands of Akpabio’s cronies and the least experienced staff who cannot run the affairs of the commission.

Recall that two days ago, the media was awash with allegations of corruption in the award of contracts to various companies believed to be connected to Chief Godswill Akpabio and members of his Interim Management Committee.

At the root of these scandals were three companies, Osmoserve Global Limited, Signoria Concept Services Limited, and Rodnab, Godswill Akpabio’s surrogate, that was awarded a contract to complete the NDDC headquarters building without public advertisement and bidding and in complete violation of the Public Procurements Act.

Rodnab has since been fully paid in the amount of N16 billion while the contract is yet to be completed.

N4.8 billion contracts were also awarded to Akpabio’s connected companies, Osmoserve Global Limited, for unspecified medical supplies.

According to the National Coordinator of Niger Delta Youths Coalition Council On Transparency And Accountability, Chief Kingsley Dapa White, the contract was awarded to Osmoserve on April 6th, and an upfront payment of 55 percent was effected. In usual practice under Akpabio and the IMC, the award letter does not specify the lots, quantity, and quality of materials to be supplied, giving room for fraudulent manipulations.

The said contract was never advertised, and there was no bidding to that effect.

Also, another company belonging to Akpabio’s allies, Signoria Concept Services Limited, was awarded a contract following similar practices.

The letter to the company dated April 6th, 2020, read ‘Award of Contract for the Emergency Procurement of Specialized Medical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Health Workers and Provision of Community Based Sensitization Campaign Against the Spread of Covid-19 and other Communicable Diseases in the Nine States of the Niger Delta Region’ and signed by Head, Procurement Unit on the instruction of the IMC.

Akpabio and the IMC later suspended payment on that contract following disagreements over the sharing formula.
When it was leaked to the public by staff of the Commission, they walked away from it. They began destroying all pieces of evidence relating to the contract, including sending the best trained and experienced staff to mandatory leave and retirement under the guise of the forensic audit.

The award of the contract to Signoria Concept Services Limited was made on April 6, 2020. Signoria Concept Services Limited was also paid N357 million for maternal delivery kits on February 22, 2020.

The two contracts awarded to Signoria and Osmoserve and dated April 6, 2020, were signed by the Head of Procurement on behalf of the Acting Managing Director of the Commission.

The contract award letter to Signoria has a Reference Number NDDC/MD/HPU/20/4/EHSS/05, while the one to Osmoserve Global Limited has a Reference Number NDDC/MD/HPU/20/4/EHSS/02.

Following the award on April 6th, 2020, the IMC has paid Osmoserve Global Limited upfront payment of 55 percent of the contract value of N4.8 billion while the one awarded to Signoria was temporarily suspended following disagreements on sharing formula which led its leak to the public and the subsequent order to some of the staff believed to be behind the leak to proceed on mandatory leave and early retirement.

This large-scale corruption by Akpabio and his IMC of the NDDC make a mockery of the anti-corruption mantra of President Mohammadu Buhari, and they constitute severe insults to the intelligence of the people of Niger Delta and Nigeria who are destitute, especially at a time when resources are limited.

President Buhari has an official duty and a moral responsibility to Nigerians to put an end to these grand heists, which are happening under his watch.

He should, as a matter of urgency, brings order to the NDDC by disbanding the IMC, which has clearly shown itself to be a tool for fleecing the Niger Delta people of their resources.

He should also ensure that all funds looted by the IMC are recovered and ploughed back into the development of the Niger Delta.

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