The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has frozen the accounts of top officials of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), The Street Journal has learnt.
This development comes a week after the ICPC quizzed top NDDC staff and recovered documents that allegedly showed the diversion of funds, procurement fraud and misappropriation of N5.4 billion COVID-19 funds.
The ICPC said after months of intelligence gathering, and receipt of petitions from well-meaning Nigerians, some NDDC directors were interrogated at its headquarters in Abuja.
The ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, said the commission is also investigating multimillion Naira payment to staff of the NDDC for foreign training during the COVID-19 lockdown which they never attended, as well as the non-payment of entitlements to students on foreign scholarships (which according to reports, has now been paid).
Ogugua in a statement on Saturday, August 29, 2020, titled, ‘ICPC quizzes NDDC directors, other officials,’ said:
“The officials of the agency were also being investigated for their complicity in the alleged diversion of N5.474bn meant for the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment for health workers handling the COVID-19 pandemic in the nine states of NDDC.
“Other allegations being investigated by the anti-graft agency include the selling of back-dated contract award letters for projects and awards of contracts that were not captured in the budget of the NDDC.”
“ICPC had already retrieved relevant documents with which to continue investigations towards the recovery of diverted funds and prosecution of breaches of the law,” the commission stated.