Port Harcourt — Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has vowed to probe the mystery surrounding the sudden death of the Acting Executive Director of Finance in the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr Bassey Etang Ibanga.
NDDC is enmeshed in series of financial impropriety running into trillions, hence, undergoing forensic audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari, and yet another probe of corruption of the current Interim Management Committee, being spearheaded by the National Assembly.
Ibanga, according to NDDC, died last Thursday from complications suspected to be linked to corona virus, amidst the forensic audit of the Commission and probe of alleged financial misappropriation by the present IMC of NDDC by National Assembly.
As a result of his death, NDDC management had shut down its operation with immediate effect for two weeks over COVID-19 scare, while directing all staff to go into self-isolation for two weeks and awaits further directives from management.
Meanwhile, Governor Udom has in strong terms called for an autopsy of the Late Acting Executive Director of Finance, should the COVID-19 test results of the deceased come out negative.
The governor pledged that he will stop at nothing to ascertain the cause of Ibanga’s death, and wondered how it was concluded that the man had died of corona virus, when his test result was not even yet out.
He also wondered why the only representative of the state on NDDC board should be the one to die, and vowed to rise to the occasion in unravelling the mystery behind the death.
According to him, “Every life of my citizen is important to me. All of a sudden, I think between yesterday and today, a lot of things on the social media about the only citizen we had in the board of NDDC.
“He was my Special Assistant before he left to NDDC; Why is it that of all the persons that are there, it is our own son that has died.
“There’ll be a time we’ll start asking questions. From the internal memo, NDDC has been shut down and the information there says he died of COVID-19.
“As I’m talking to you, immediately we heard the news, we asked the Commissioner for Health in Rivers State on the result of COVID-19 test on Etang. As I speak the result is not out. I’m only wondering how people concluded that COVID-19 was the cause of his death.
“Once the result is out, we’ll ask questions certainly. I want to say here that we stand for our brothers and sisters, and we stand for the lives of our citizens. We’ll rise to this situation. We’ve informed the Commissioner that if the COVID-19 test result is out and the deceased’s result shows negative, they must do autopsy on that body.”