The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested Nsima Ekere, the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), on Wednesday for allegedly diverting monies worth N47 billion through the agency’s authorized contractors.
According to Wilson Uwajaren, a spokeswoman for the Commission, who verified it to Channels Television.
In the 2019 elections, the former NDDC chairman was the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate for Akwa Ibom. In 2015, he was defeated in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship primary by Governor Emmanuel Udom.
Nsima Ekere, 56, was the agency’s Managing Director between 2016 and 2018.
Each and every Kobo must be Recovered.
After President Muhammadu Buhari ordered a forensic examination of the NDDC in 2019, his detention is the latest controversy to be related to the agency.
The audit, which is currently under evaluation, covered the organization’s operations from 2001 to 2019.
Buhari, who expressed his displeasure with the NDDC’s alleged financial mismanagement, promised that his government will retrieve “every kobo” squandered.
“The serial abuse, lack of delivery, and what had become an entrenched institutional decay was the reason why I called for the forensic audit,” he said in December 2021 while commissioning the NDDC Prototype Hostel at the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom.
“Therefore, going forward we shall ensure every recoverable kobo, is recovered for use in service of the people of this region, and those found culpable shall face the Law.”
Senator Godswill Akpabio, the former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, had previously stated that the region has 13, 000 abandoned projects.
“The audit committee report revealed that there are over 13,000 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta, and even before the report was submitted, some contractors returned to site on their own and completed about 77 road projects,” the former Akwa Ibom governor said in September 2021 when presenting the audit report to Buhari.
“I appreciate Mr. President and all those who supported and secured the exercise’s success, despite its tumultuous history.”