By Ime Silas
The ongoing inquiry into alleged financial misappropriation at the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has revealed how a serving Senator in the Nigerian Senate allegedly diverted the sum of N2.552.305,600.00 (Two Billion. Five Hundred and Fifty Two Million. Three Hundred and Five Thousand And Six Hundred Naira).
Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi, Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District of Delta state, according to a demand letter written by the NDDC, dated July 5, 2020, and signed by the Commission’s Director, Legal Services, Peter Claver Okoro, Esq., was demanded to refund the said sum which he received sometime in 2017.
According to the letter, addressed to the lawmaker, a copy of which was obtained by The Profile Newspaper, the money was meant for the supply of chairs and desks to schools in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, but the items were not supplied to the NDDC or any office of the Commission in the nine States of the region.
Parts of the demand letter read: “That sometime in 2017, the Commission awarded contracts to certain companies for the production of desks and chairs for primary and secondary schools in the Niger Delta region under the 201 6 budget of the Commission. The list of the companies is attached as Annexure ‘A’. The total value of the said contracts was ₦2.552.305,600.OO (Two Billion. Five Hundred and Fifty Two Million. Three Hundred and Five Thousand And Six Hundred Naira).
“That the contracts were in furtherance of the Commission’s education sector mandate as catalyst for the improvement of classroom and learning conditions in the Niger Delta region.
That instead of supplying the chairs and desks to the Commission’s warehouse in Port Harcourt or to any of the NDDC offices in the nine Niger Delta States, the items were supplied to a warehouse described as Akuede Akwis’ located at Benin Expressway, Okpanam, before Wichetech Aluminum Company”
The letter also stated that the 2019 budget of the Commission contained provisions and supplies of the chairs and desks, hence the Senator should refund the money within 14 days.
“That the 2019 budget of the Commission also contains the following heads:a. Provisions and supply of Plastic Chairs and Desks for Primary and Secondary Schools in Delta North Senatorial District (Lots 1-15) for (Serial No. 21).NDDC
b. Provisions and supply of Plastic Chairs and Desks for Primary and Secondary Schools in Delta North Senatorial District (Lots 1-20) for (Serial No. 33).
c. Production and distribution of Desks and Benches in selected schools in the Niger Delta Region for (Serial No. 396).This brings the 2019 budgetary provision for chairs and benches to a total of
“That despite having fully paid for the 2017 contracts for the production of chairs and desks, the items have not been supplied to the Commission. The resultant effect is that the Commission and the Niger Delta region have been deprived of the use of the desks and chairs.
“That I have been further directed to demand that you refund the sum of ₦2,552,305,600.OO (Two Billion, Five Hundred and FiffyTwo Million, Three Hundred and Five Thousand And Six Hundred Naira). to the Commission being the contract sums paid in respect of the said contracts within 14 days of this letter”.
Efforts by our correspondent to get Nwaoboshi’s reaction to the allegation were unsuccessful as calls to the Senator’s known phone number were not responded to as at press time.