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General News of Sunday, 21 February 2021

Source: The Nation

Assets declaration: CCB may declare NDDC Administrator wanted

The Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Effiong Akwa, may be declared wanted if he fails to honour Thursday’s invitation by the Code of Conduct Bureau, The Nation has reliably gathered.

This followed the alleged rejection of the plea by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, to give the NDDC boss a soft landing.

The Minister was alleged to be lobbying members of the CCB probe Committee to soft-pedal on the matter.

Akwa had failed to honour previous summons by the CCB to appear before an investigative committee set up to probe allegations of non-compliance with the mandatory declaration of assets by public officers brought against him.

The embattled NDDC Sole Administrator is being investigated for failing to disclose his assets while serving as the Managing Director of the Akwa Ibom State-owned microfinance bank, Akwa Loans and Savings Limited and Special Adviser on Finance to a former NDDC Director.

Akwa, until his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari, as the sole administrator of the NDDC, was the Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration in the Commission.

Reports written by CCB Directors in Akwa Ibom and the Rivers States and sighted by our correspondent showed the NDDC Administrator did not disclose his assets as mandated despite several letters from the Agency requesting him to do so.

Meanwhile, a reliable source at the CCB, confided in The Nation the Thursday’s invitation, was a sequel to the insistence by members of the probe Committee the NDDC Administrator will appear before the Committee despite pressure to drop the matter.

The source revealed the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, who stormed the CCB Headquarters at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja with the NDDC Administrator, Thursday last week, failed to get him off the hook after members of the Committee headed by Johnson Abgonayinma, refused to oblige the Minister’s request.

According to the source: “The CCB is not being used to witch-hunt anyone, we are doing our job in line with our constitutional mandate. No one is above the law and that includes the NDDC Administrator.

“He has nothing to be afraid of if he has declared his assets. At the end of the investigation and we discover that he complied with the extant laws, he will be allowed to go but if otherwise, we will drag him to the Tribunal for prosecution”.

Section 3, part of the third schedule to 1999 constitutional of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, empowers the Code of Conduct Bureau to receive complaints about non-compliance with or breach of the provision of the code of conduct or any law in relation there to, investigate complaints and, where appropriate, refer such matters to the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

If found guilty according to the provisions of the Tribunal, Akwa may be asked to vacate the office or be barred from holding any public office for a period not exceeding ten years.

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