House of Reps resolves to issue warrant of arrest on NDDC boss - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Thursday, July 16, 2020

House of Reps resolves to issue warrant of arrest on NDDC boss

Following his refusal to make a submission at an investigative hearing yesterday, the House of Representatives resolved after a brief meeting, to issue an arrest warrant on the Acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission Interim Management Committee (IMC), Kemebradikumo Pondei, for contempt of the parliament.
A member of the Committee, Rt. Hon. Shehu Koko had during the hearing, raised a point of order that the MD should not personalize the issues, saying he should not decide how the House should conduct its affairs.
“If you have anything against the Chairman you can go to EFCC (Economic Financial Crimes Commission), ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices Commission) or any of the security outfits to lay your complaints but as far as the rules of this House is concerned, you can not come here and decide how we should conduct our affairs. The rules of the parliament stand, nobody can dictate to us here because this is not the matter in question.” said Koko.
Moving the motion to issue a warrant of arrest on NDDC IMC, House Spokesman, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Kalu commended the Committee members for the maturity exhibited in the face of provocations by the NDDC Managing Director.
Kalu said: “I want to refer this Committee as well as the invited guests to section 60 which says that, the Senate or the House of Representatives shall have powers to regulate its own procedure”.
It is within the parameters of the law that the House regulates its activities, this is a Committee affair and not a personalized affair.
“I want to move that this Committee invokes the provisions of section 89 of the Constitution and invoke our powers on a warrant of arrest to compel the agency to come and answer how they have administered the money appropriated to them”.
In a presentation at the hearing, Darlington Nwauju, leader of the Niger Delta Rights Advocates (NDRA) who alleged heavy corruption in NDDC called for the disbandment of the NDDC IMC.
He also advocated an amendment to the NDDC Act to compel the office of the Auditor General of the Federation to submit quarterly reports on the financial activities of the NDDC.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Niger Delta, Godswill Akpabio, who was to appear before the Committee was absent at the hearing and was neither represented nor sent an excuse.
Akpabio had cited his attendance in the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting as a reason for his absence, at the start of the hearing on Wednesday.
Also, the former acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Joy Nunieh, who was to testify before the Committee was absent.
Her absence may not be unconnected to the take over of her Port Harcourt residence by Armed operatives of the Nigerian Police Force in the early hours of Thursday before she was rescued by the Rivers State Governor Nyesome Wike.

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