Cairo Ojougboh, the executive director of projects at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) says Nigeria will break if the commission releases the list of highly placed Nigerians who have benefitted from contracts awarded by the commission.
The NDDC has been in the spotlight after the National Assembly launched an investigation into allegations of financial recklessness in the commission. The investigation took a different turn when the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, accused members of the National Assembly of being the largest beneficiaries of contracts awarded by the Commission.
Peter Nwaoboshi, senate committee chairman on NDDC; Matthew Urhoghide, senate committee chairman on public accounts, and James Manager, senator representing Delta South were some of the beneficiaries listed by the minister. The Senate and the National Assembly have also denied the allegations of its members benefitting from the contracts awarded by the commission.
In an interview with Vanguard, Ojougboh said Nwaoboshi and Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on NDDC, and the rest of the National Assembly “are culpable” in the sleaze contracts. He said Nigeria will break if the full list of beneficiaries of contracts is released.
“The National Assembly is culpable. At the end of the forensic audit, you will see members of the national assembly. A senator came and said that in the list of 2016 they brought, that he had only six contracts, I said no, that he had more. What he didn’t know is that we did not release the list for 2017 and the one for 2019. If we release it this country will break.
“Oh, because of the people looting, the calibre, the names and people looting the NDDC. And who engineers it? The chairmen of the NDDC in the senate and house of representatives in the national assembly.” he said
Ojougboh said the N51 million spent by the acting managing director of the commission was their ”security vote”.
“My MD feeds 100 policemen every day and in Port Harcourt as an executive of NDDC, you need security more than anything, till tomorrow, you know of it. When they are sending these policemen, the instruction is to feed them, cater for them, that is what is in the letter the police hierarchy sends,” he said
So people are talking about 51 million of imprest for the MD, it is a security vote, it’s not for his personal pocket, the money does not go to the MD’s account.
Myself, N18 million, it does not go to my account, it goes for security and other expenses and it is retired, there is no fraud in it.”
On the N3.14 billion spent on COVID-19 relief for staff during the pandemic, the NDDC director said
“They are talking about COVID-19 payment, the federal government is given every citizen N30,000 each, do you know how much the federal government has spent? The CBN and many other corporations have been giving COVID-19 allowances, which are within their purview, just like NDDC did.
In the national assembly, each of the senators got N20 million, while the house of representatives members got N15 million for COVID-19 from the national assembly.” he said.
Benue Crisis: Expose Those Who Killed Soldiers, Return Army Weapons – Ortom Urges Communities
The Benue State Government has urged community leaders to expose those who carried out an unprovoked attack on Nigerian Army troops, leading to the death of an officer and 10 other soldiers.
In a statement on Friday, Governor Ortom while addressing the recent crisis between communities in Konshisha and Oju Local Government Areas, called for restraint on all sides including the military.
Ortom noted in his communique that he has already directed leaders of the affected areas to ensure that the weapons the “bandits” took away from the military personnel deployed to bring peace between the warring communities are returned without delay.
Earlier on, the army had reported that its troops came under attack while on a routine operational task, it was not clear who the attackers were at the time.
The military however asserted that the troops comprising one officer and ten soldiers were initially declared missing which prompted the deployment of a joint search and rescue team comprising NA troops and personnel of Operation Whirl Stroke.
The search and rescue team, unfortunately, found all the missing troops dead in Konshisha LGA of Benue State. While the bodies of the slain troops were evacuated immediately.
According to the army, efforts were still ongoing to track down the perpetrators of the heinous crime with a view to bringing them to justice.
In his reaction, Governor Ortom urged members of the affected communities to expose perpetrators of the unprovoked attacks on the military, stating that such an act is condemnable and also capable of jeopardizing the efforts Government has made to guarantee the return of peace to the area.
The governor disclosed that in an effort to find a solution to the crisis, he set up a Boundary Committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Engineer Benson Abounu to resolve the land dispute in collaboration with the National Boundary Commission.
The Committee had fixed a date for the demarcation of the area in contention when renewed violence broke out between the Bonta Community of Konshisha Local Government Area and Okpute Community of Oju Local Government Area.
Ortom assured the people that his administration is determined to see the end of the crisis and will support security agencies to fish out those fomenting trouble.
He, however, urged the military to avoid civilian casualties and protect law abiding people while efforts are on to recover their missing weapons.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Husband Prince Philip Dies At 99
Queen Elizabeth II’s husband Prince Philip has died at age 99, according to a statement by Buckingham Palace.
Prince Philip was the longest-serving royal consort in British history after getting married to Princess Elizabeth in 1947, five years before she became Queen.
The Palace announced the death of the late monarch via its official Twitter handle on Friday afternoon, April 9, 2021.
“It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen announces the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,” it said in a statement.
“His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle.
“The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss.”
The palace added that further announcements would be made “in due course”.
Fears over the health of the Duke of Edinburgh, as he was formally known, had been heightened after he recently spent a month in hospital for treatment.
He left the hospital on March 16 following what was described as a successful procedure for a pre-existing condition and treatment for an unspecified infection.
He was first admitted on February 16 on the advice of his doctor after he complained of feeling unwell.
Philip had returned to Windsor Castle, west of London, where he had been isolating with the queen — Britain’s longest-serving monarch — since the start of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
He was due to turn 100 in June.
The news of his death saw television channels interrupt regular programmes and start special coverage marking his life.
The BBC announced his death and played the national anthem, “God Save the Queen”.
Philip had increasingly struggled with his health in recent years and had retired from public life.
In the run-up to Christmas 2011, Philip was taken to hospital by helicopter after suffering chest pains.
The Greek-born former naval officer was then treated for a blocked coronary artery and had a stent fitted
Buhari Approves Appointment Of Usman Alkali As Acting IGP
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of DIG Usman Alkali Baba as acting Inspector General of police.
He immediately replaces Mohammed Abubakar Adamu.
The Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi disclosed this to State House correspondents on Tuesday.
The president had on the 4th of February, extended the tenure of Mohammed Adamu as the Inspector General of Police for three months out of which the erstwhile police boss spent two months and three days.
According to the minister, Baba’s appointment was carefully made, after the president considered issues of professionalism, competence, and numerous years of service.
The president urged DIG Usman Alkali Baba to among other things ensure that policing reform policies are fully prioritized to engender peace across the country.
Born on 1st March 1963 in Gaidam, Yobe State, the acting IGP enlisted in the Nigeria Police on 15th March 1988.
He was until his appointment a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Force Criminal Investigation Department, Force Headquarters.
He holds a Teacher’s Grade II Certificate (TC II) from Teachers College, Potiskum, Yobe State in 1980.
He obtained a BA (ED) in Political Science from Bayero University, Kano in 1985.
The Acting IGP also has a Masters in Public Administration (MPA) obtained from the University of Maiduguri, Borno State in 1997.
As part of his policing vision, he aims to enhance police primacy in Nigeria through the provision of motivational and credible leadership, directed at stabilizing internal security and modernizing police operations, facilities and standards within the framework of citizens, consent, trust, and the rule of law.