The immediate past acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Gbene Joi Nunieh, has denied that the agency spent N22.6 billion under her stewardship.
Speaking with Senate Correspondents on Friday after the final session of the Senate Ad hoc Committee investigating alleged financial recklessness and misappropriation of N40 billion by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC, between October 2019 and May this year, Dr Nunieh said that no payment was made by the NDDC under her watch without the knowledge of the Niger Delta Minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio.
She said that only N8 billion was expended by the agency from October 29, 2019 to May 31, 2020, when she held sway, contrary to the figure being bandied around.
The Chairman of the Senate Ad hoc Committee, Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, had on Thursday said that based on record supplied to the panel by the IMC, the agency had so far spent N81.5 billion.
He added that of the amount, the IMC led by Dr Nunieh, between October 2019 to February 18, 2020, allegedly spent a total of N22.5 billion, while the current one led by Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei has so far spent N59.1 billion.
But Nunieh denied spending such huge sum, while alleging that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs frustrated her efforts during her tenure before she was finally removed from office.
She alleged that those who wanted to control the NDDC from outside once instructed her to write an official report to implicate the Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, over alleged fraudulent contract awards and executions.
“l was asked to draft a letter on my letterhead implicating Senator Peter Nwaoboshi for collecting contracts in NDDC. I said l will not do that, that l am a lawyer; I said that he who alleges must prove,» she said, adding that for her stance she was accused of ingratitude.
The offence of Nwaoboshi was that he was opposed to the NDDC being run by an interim committee, she said, adding that she rebuffed all such entreaties.