The Acting Managing Director of the Expanded Interim Management Committee, EIMC of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei says he is in shock to realise that Nigerians believe he had put up an act when he fainted while testifying before the House of Representatives public hearing on the alleged financial recklessness in the commission.
Pondei passed out, shocking the lawmakers present at the hearing and Nigerians, after he failed to defend some allegations leveled against him.
The allegations amongst others include:
– His approval of N1.3 billion COVID-19 palliative for members of the Commission.
– N640 million he approved to Clear Point Communications Limited.
– The whereabout of money meant for students on scholarship abroad.
He passed out when he was unable to give answers to the allegations.
However, in a recent interview, Pondei stated that, ”I had an unexplained.and unexpected health challenge. It is ridiculous to think that people believed I was acting. I would not pray for anyone to experience what I went through. I do not run from issues. I have put all that behind me.”
Pondei denied any wrongdoings saying “The allegations are not true. The current EIMC did not spend N81.5bn. This was the joint expenditure by both IMCs from October 2019 to 31st May 2020. The current IMC between 20th February 2020 and 31st May, 2020 spent N59.1bn. Out of this, N38.6bn was for capital expenditure, paid to contractors and other expenditure incurred by previous managements. The balance was for recurrent expenditure, including backlog of debts owed to service providers and backlog of allowances approved for staff by previous managements, but left unpaid. Our sin has been that we have tried to clean up the embarrassing debts incurred by previous managements.”
He further added ”The accusations/allegations were laughable. From N40 billion missing, the probes now became extra-budgetary spending. After accusing the EIMC of embezzlement of N40 billion, nothing was substantiated. The IMC is then asked to refund monies paid for historical debts owed contractors, service providers and allowances paid to staff.”
Pondei has since resumed his duties.