Nothing must be done to sweep the forensic audit report on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) under the carpet.
This charge was made Sunday by Chief Dan Orbih, National Vice Chairman (South-South) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while addressing journalists in Abuja on the widely reported submission of the forensic audit report commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The PDP chieftain also tasked the President not to spare anyone indicted by the report, insisting that identified culprits be made to pay for their acts of corruption, and not pardoned because of any known relationship or ties to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, had last Thursday submitted the Forensic Audit Report on NDDC to President Muhammadu Buhari through the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
Speaking on the issue Sunday, Orbih welcomed the report, noting that it was a confirmation of his earlier held fears that the NDDC was, and still is, a cesspool of corruption from where misguided politicians were milking the people of the South-South dry instead of developing the region.
“The outcome of the forensic audit report confirms my worst fears. NDDC is the centre of corruption in Nigeria. President Buhari must not allow this report to gather dust or be swept under the carpet. It may have its flaws because of the processes leading up to it but it remains too important to toy with.
“The Niger Delta has been robbed for too long and our people demand transparency in the implementation of the findings of the forensic exercise. I call on Mr President to make the audit report public without delay,” Orbih said.
While expressing concerns over the manner in which the Buhari administration has handled issues of corruption by public officials, Chief Orbih tasked the President to bring all indicted individuals to book and have them pay for sabotaging the people of the Niger Delta.
He said: “President Buhari must prove this time that he is not selective in dispensing justice to all those involved in the criminal act of sabotaging the economy. We demand that all individuals indicted by the report must be made to face the law. Being a member of APC should not be a ticket to freedom in the matter of recklessly stealing from our people. The President must be firm and just.”
Orbih also demanded apology from the Nigerian government for its indiscretion in appointing into the Board of NDDC a set of unaccomplished individuals, alleging that they were largely responsible for the later woes of the interventionist agency.
“The APC government must apologize to the people of the South-South for imposing an incompetent Board on NDDC. Their indiscretion is largely responsible for our woes today,” Orbih alleged.
The forensic audit report had reportedly shown that there were over 13,000 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta, and that multinational oil companies had failed to remit over $4billion to the commission.