The Auditor General of the Federation, Samuel Ukura, on Wednesday affirmed that over N183 billion was missing from the accounts of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) despite denials by officials of the Commission.
The Auditor General also said he was surprised that rather than defend the allegation through the proper channel, NDDC went to the media to deny the allegation.
In a statement signed by O.A. Ogunmosunle, the spokesperson of the Auditor General’s office, it noted that the Auditor General first made the allegations of missing funds in a report he submitted to the National Assembly last week.
But officials of NDDC have continued to deny the allegations.
Ukura also accused the management of NDDC of unwillingness to cooperate with the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation when the Special Periodic Check was to be carried out on the accounts of the Commission.
Read statement issued by Ukura’s office: “The attention of the Management of the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation has been drawn to the claims by the Niger Delta Development Commission in some electronic and print media denying and casting aspersions on the Special Periodic Checks recently submitted to the National Assembly. Ordinarily, the Management of the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation would not have considered it worthy to join issues with the former.
“Nevertheless, the Office make bold its statement public, based on the negative sentiments occasioned by the NDDC’s condemnation of the Special Periodic Checks in various media calculated to demean the efficacy of the Constitutional mandate carried out by the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation.
“It is noteworthy to state that it took NDDC, 16 months to grant the Office permission to commence the periodic checks beginning from 9th December, 2011 to 6th May, 2013. Similarly, it took another 16 months and several reminders to the NDDC with effect from the 24th of April, 2014 to 12th August, 2015 before the final report was submitted to the National Assembly. It may interest the reading publics to know that at the time of this Press Release, the NDDC is yet to respond to the Special Periodic Checks.
“It is pertinent to state unequivocally that the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation has a constitutional mandate to submit its Reports to the National Assembly and in doing so, due process are usually followed.
“It is therefore important to let the NDDC and the public know that the Office of the Auditor-General for the Federation stands by the Special Periodic Checks on the NDDC and its contents. However, any person or corporate organization that is not satisfied with the contents of the Special Report has opportunity to defend itself before the Public Accounts Committees (PACs) of the National Assembly.”