NDDC Crisis: Onochie accuses MD of operating 367 illegal accounts


Another round of fresh corruption crisis has bedevilled the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as the Chairman of the commission’s board, Lauretta Onochie and the Managing Director, Samuel Ogbuku, openly engaged one another in corruption allegations exchanges at the National Assembly.

At an investigative hearing by the Senate Committee on Unauthoried Spending in the Commission, Ogbuku, who was represented by the Executive Director in charge of Finance and Administration, Charles Airhiavere, accused Onochie of over stepping her bounds by desperately seeking to be a signatory to NDDC’s accounts.

He alleged that Onochie had even written a letter to the Accountant General of the Federation for approval to make her a signatory to the accounts.


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Onochie, however, said the decision for her to be a signatory to the accounts, was taken by the board at one of its meeting, adding that it was not a personal decision.

She said that the request for change of signatory was rejected because the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed the Managing Director to ensure that her confirmation is sought in every financial dealings.

“The CBN said I should be the confirming authority but they didn’t come back to me. That is why they have been operating the way they like,” Onochie added.

But in a twist of event, Onochie accused the MD and the entire management of running the commission in breach of financial regulation.
She alleged that the NDDC’s management currently operates a total of 367 accounts against the dictates of the Treasury Single Accounts (TSA).
According to Onochie, all these accounts are in foreign exchange (FOREX).

The MD also denied the existence of 367 accounts in the commission but admitted that it operates only four.

Onochie also informed the Senate that since the board resumed in January 2023; it has not enjoyed the cooperation of the management.
She disclosed that the MD had been frustrating attempts to hold board meetings where necessary decisions ought to be taken.

This was rejected by the MD, who disclosed that the main problem arose from what he described as ‘trust deficit’ between the board and the management.

Ogbuku also said that the board never gave sufficient notice of any board meeting as required by law.

Onochie further informed the Senate Committee that part of the abuse of financial responsibilities displayed by the Ogbuku-led management, was the increase of the monthly impress for the Managing Director from N4 billion to N10 billion.

The Senate Committee-led by Senator Yusuf Yusuf (APC, Taraba Central) expressed shock at the disclosures made by the board and the management of the NDDC.

He directed Onochie and Ogbuku to appear before it on Monday to substantiate their allegations.

The original reason for the investigation of how unauthorised spending were made in the commission between 2021 and 2022 despite the absence of NDDC budget was thrown aside when the two parties engaged one another in corruption allegations.

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