The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced investigation into allegations of diversion of public funds made against the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, and the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Prof. Daniel Pondei.
The development was disclosed in an acknowledgement letter written by the anti-graft agency in response to a petition it received from a group, Foundation for True Freedom and Good Governance.
Akpabio and Pondie had been accused of diverting N40 billion in commission.
The petition signed by the convener of the foundation, Deji Adeyanju, requested the EFCC to investigate the allegations made against the minister and the NDDC boss.
The acknowledgement letter signed by the head of Economic Governance at the EFCC, Adebayo Adeniyi reads: “We write to acknowledge the receipt of your petition dated 3rd August 2020 in respect of the above subject and to inform you that investigation into the case has commenced.”
“In view of the above, you are kindly requested to attend an interview with the undersigned through O/C Team 6 on Thursday August 20th at the EFCC headquarters, Jabi, Abuja.”
Akpabio had, in a statement, declared that he was ready to face any panel instituted to investigate his activities as the minister in charge of the NDDC. His declaration was contained in a statement issued in Abuja by Anietie Ekong, his chief press secretary.
Anietie said Akpabio was upbeat about the plan to probe the NDDC as he had no skeleton in his cupboard.
“In fact, he will welcome a public hearing beamed live for all Nigerians to see.
“The probe of the commission, along with the ongoing forensic audit, will expose those who have used their exalted positions over the years to fleece the NDDC through fully paid contracts which were never executed and other forms of contact racketeering.
“While we await the probe, if carried through, we find it extremely insulting for Akpabio’s name to be dragged into what is obviously a smear campaign.
“The general public should not be misled by spurious claims. The NDDC under the supervision of Akpabio will not be distracted neither will the ongoing forensic audit of the commission be derailed through blackmail and intimidation “.