The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched an investigation into the alleged involvement of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and the Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei, in financial dealings in the commission amounting to N81.5 billion.
The EFCC, in an invitation letter addressed to a group, Foundation for True Freedom and Good Governance, led by a human rights activist, Mr. Deji Adeyanju, said it would need his assistance in the investigation.
The House of Representatives also ruled out the EFCC probe affecting its ongoing investigation of the agency.
The Senate, however, said it was not bothered by the reported investigation of the NDDC by the EFCC.
The reply by the EFCC to the request by the foundation was posted yesterday on Adeyanju’s tweeter handle.
The letter, with reference number 3000/EFCC/ABJ/HQ/EG/T.6/Vol4/044 and dated August 14, 2020, was signed by the Head, Economic Governance Section, Mr. Adebayo Adeniyi.
In the letter titled, ‘Re: Request for Investigation of Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, and Prof. Daniel Pondei, acting MD NDDC, over Corruption Allegations of Diversion of Public Funds’, the anti-graft agency said the investigation of the two government officials had commenced.
The agency invited Adeyanju to the EFCC office in Abuja to clarify some of the allegations.
“We write to acknowledge the receipt of your petition dated August 3, 2020, in respect of the above subject and to inform you that an investigation into the case has commenced.
“In view of the above, you are kindly requested to attend an interview with the undersigned through the O/C team six on Thursday, August 20, 2020 at EFCC headquarters third floor,” the letter read in part.
The foundation had asked the commission to investigate how N81.8 billion was spent by the commission.
When contacted, the Director of Corporate Affairs of NDDC, Mr. Charles Odili, said he was on sick leave and could not comment on the issue
Pondei did not respond to phone calls or text messages sent to him.
But Akpabio’s aide, Mr. Anietie Ekong, stated that the minister had not been invited by the anti-graft agency.
Ekong said the EFCC had not invited the minister over the probe of the activities of the NDDC.
Ekong said: “My boss is yet to be invited. I don’t think the EFCC letter expressly stated that the minister is being investigated. It didn’t state that.”