Tensions Flare as Former NDDC Chairman and Managing Director Trade Corruption Accusations

Tensions Flare as Former NDDC Chairman and Managing Director Trade Corruption Accusations

…By Joseph Benjamin for TDPel Media.

Dirty Fight Erupts Between Lauretta Onochie and Samuel Ogbuku at NDDC Hearing

A heated exchange took place on Friday during an investigative hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on the unauthorized spending of the 2021 and 2022 budgets of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

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Lauretta Onochie, former media aide to President Muhammadu Buhari and chairman of the NDDC, engaged in a bitter argument with Samuel Ogbuku, the Managing Director of the Commission.

The two accused each other of corruption, further escalating the tense situation.

Allegations of Overstepping and Corruption

Represented by the Executive Director in charge of Finance and Administration, Charles Airhiavere, the NDDC Managing Director accused Onochie of going beyond her authority by aggressively seeking to become a signatory to the Commission’s accounts.

He claimed that Onochie wrote a letter to the Accountant-General of the Federation, requesting to be made a signatory.

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Onochie, in her defense, clarified that the decision for her to become a signatory was proposed by the NDDC board during one of its meetings and was not her personal decision.

She explained that the request was rejected because the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) instructed the Managing Director to seek her confirmation in every financial transaction.

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However, she criticized the NDDC management for breaching financial regulations and operating numerous accounts in foreign currency (FOREX), contrary to the Federal Government’s Treasury Single Accounts (TSA) policy.

Discrepancies Over Number of Accounts

Onochie accused the NDDC management of operating a total of 367 accounts, while the Managing Director denied the existence of such a large number and confirmed the operation of only four accounts.

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The conflicting statements added to the growing tension between the two parties.

Lack of Cooperation and Trust Deficit

Onochie further expressed frustration, stating that since the board assumed office in January 2023, it has not received the cooperation of the NDDC management.

The Managing Director countered by claiming that the lack of cooperation stemmed from a “trust deficit” between the board and the management.

Senate Committee’s Shock and Call for Substantiation

Senator Yusuf Yusuf, the Chairman of the Senate Committee, expressed astonishment at the revelations made by both the board and the management of the NDDC.

To resolve the conflicting claims, he directed Lauretta Onochie and Samuel Ogbuku to appear before the committee on Monday to provide substantiation for their allegations.

The hearing promises to be a critical moment in uncovering the truth behind the issues surrounding the NDDC.

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About the Author:

Joseph Benjamin is an experienced journalist with a successful career spanning over 18 years. He has made a name for himself in the industry through his insightful and engaging reporting, and his dedication to delivering accurate and unbiased news. Joseph’s years of experience have equipped him with a keen understanding of the media landscape, and he has become a trusted voice in his field. His writing style is characterized by its clarity, precision, and attention to detail, making his articles a pleasure to read. Joseph is a dedicated professional who is committed to providing his readers with the most up-to-date and relevant news and information. He lives in Ontario, Canada.

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