NDDC Crisis: CSO Warns Against Media Trial, Insists On Forensic Audit

By Musa Sunusi Ahmad

A civil society organisation, Peoples Alliance for Indigenous Rights (PAIR) on Thursday called on the House of Representatives and a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ms. Joy Nuneih to allow the forensic audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari’s to go on rather than engage in media trial.

PAIR expressed concern over what it described “the show of shame” by some ex-officials of the NDDC in their allegations, and criticised the style adopted by Nuneih, which, it said, was overtly dramatic and staged managed.

The National Coordinator of PAIR, Emmanuel Iriogbe and National Secretary, James Okoronkwo, expressed the feelings at a press briefing held at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Abuja.

“While it is not cast in stone that some things may have gone wrong, Ms. Nuneih and her co-travellers should allow the forensic audit ordered by President Muhammad Buhari go on. It is only proper that any grievances and allegations of wrong doing should be channeled to the audit panel and not the red herring all over the place”, the organisation said.

According to PAIR, Ms. Nuneih has weaponised ‘kidnap and sexual harassment’ in order to score some political mileage, saying it was unfortunate.

The text of the press briefing reads: “We have since observed the unfortunate drama playing out in the NDDC, and wish to state that facts have become obscured as the dramatic and playing to the gallery has taken centre stage.

“If those, especially Ms. Joy Nuneih, a former Managing Director of the NDDC, were out to expose corruption as have been alleged by them, then this unnecessary orchestrated drama would not be part of the “fact finding” by the House of Representatives.

“It is regrettable that those who parade themselves as saints are in themselves mired deep in rot, therefore, the determination to smear others with mud.
On Thursday, it was alleged that Ms. Nuneih’s home in Port Harcourt was besieged by gun-wielding security men. How convenient!

“To imagine that this is happening barely after 24 hours when the Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike, warned against any attempt to undermine the security and life of Ms. Nuneih speaks to a sinister plot by those who hope to gain from this macabre plot.

“Today, Wike is seen as a ‘super hero’ for ‘rescuing’ the ex-MD of the embattled commission when credible sources suggest it was a hatchet plot by the ‘super hero.’ Also, it is pertinent to state that in all of the shouting, puffing and huffing, Nuneih is yet to tender any document to the House of Representatives, who by the way the chairman of the House Committee on NDDC, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, is enmeshed in corruption allegation of having benefitted with a 17km road contract.

“The new management of the NDDC, the Interim Management Committee (IMC) and Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, should be allowed some breathing space to reposition a terribly battered commission.”

ENDS***

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