Pondei and Gbajabiamila

The speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has stated that Kemebradikumo Pondei, the acting managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), will not face probe panel again.

Gbajabiamila made this known after Pondei fainted on Monday while he was being grilled by lawmakers investigating mismanagement of funds up to the tune of N81.5 bn in the NDDC.

The speaker admitted that the Conference Room 231 of the House used for the probe is poorly ventilated and therefore apologized to all members of the committee and lawmakers.

The speaker noted that the probe panel will now use the documents presented by Pondei to continue its investigation and all other necessary actions.

He said: “I have been here barely five minutes and I am already sweating profusely. So, I do understand and apologise to everybody here for the poorly conducive atmosphere.

“Because of these conditions in this hall, we don’t need to hear further from the acting MD because he has already submitted his written report. I think you can use the documents to do the work that needs to be done.”

However, the NDDC said its acting Managing Director, Prof Kemebradikumo Pondei, shunned medical advice to attend the House of Representatives Committee hearing.

The statement titled ‘Prof Pondei has been ill’ partly read, “The Commission wishes to disclose that Prof Pondei has been ill for the past two weeks. This morning, his condition deteriorated, and his doctors advised against attending the hearing.

“However, he ignored his doctors’ advice because of the realisation that his traducers will use his absence at the hearing to soil his name and reputation. He thought he could make it through the hearing and take care of his health later.

“As it turned out, his doctors were right. Prof Pondei is in a stable condition at a clinic in Abuja.”