Port Harcourt — The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been urged not to release the $1.6 billion statutory remittance made by oil multinationals, which is in its custody, to the Niger Delta Development Commission.
A group known as Niger Delta Peoples’ Assembly For Peace and Development, who made the call, alleged that some political elites have been lobbying for the said funds to be released to NDDC.
President of the group, Obarine Ngelale, in a statement, said NDDC was currently being superintended by a sole administrator, which according to him, was not recognised in the NDDC Act.
Ngelale, also charged governors of oil producing states, to prevail on EFCC not to release the said funds to the NDDC, while calling on the anti-graft agency to take over the ongoing forensic audit of NDDC.
While calling on the federal government to intervene, he explained that the said money belongs to the oil producing states, hence should be used for the development of the oil producing region.
“We frown at the notion that such a huge amount of money would be released to the Sole Administrator of the NDDC who is mainly answerable to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
“We wish to reiterate what we have been saying and which has been the position of all the stakeholders of the region that the creation of the position of a Sole Administrator is illegal and runs against the the NDDC Act of 2000, from which the Commission derives its powers.
“We call on the EFCC not to release the money which is currently being warehoused by the Commission to the NDDC and for the EFCC to take over what is obviously an unending forensic audit of the Commission.
“The money belongs to the oil producing States. We call on the Governors of the nine Oil Producing States to please rise up and stop the release of this money to the Sole Administrator.
“We have challenges of insecurity in our region, our youths are getting restive, our environment has been destroyed, and now our commonwealth is going to be released to an unaccountable body, please our dear Governors, don’t allow this to happen.”