FACT-CHECKING: New NDDC Board Appointments May Be A ‘Hoax’ After All

A report by bigpen revealed that the report of appointments of new board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC may be a ‘planted’ press release that doesn’t have the backing of the President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Buhari is currently at the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7) which holds from August 28-31 in Japan and may not have authorised the release of any names of appointees into NDDC board as being circulated in the online and social media, our dependable sources said.

Although BIGPEN Online couldn’t independently verify this information but investigation has shown that the announcement of the composition of the new board didn’t follow due process and laid down procedure.

Sources disclosed that appointments into the commission are prerogative right of Mr President, who will forward a letter to the Senate to approve the confirmation of the appointments.

BIGPEN Online reports that such letters are often made public by the Senate President during senate planery and not through the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

The Nigerian Senate is currently on its 8 weeks delayed recess which started after completing the screening of President Buhari’s 43 ministerial nominees. It is expected to reconvene on Sept. 24.

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Our sources in the presidency while puncturing holes in the names of appointees, also said that there had never been a time when Mr. President would direct NDDC acting Managing Director as it is in the statement to hand-over to the most senior Director in the Commission.

Another holes in the yeoman job done in the so-called appointments, according to our source is that the statement asked the appointees who have not been confirmed by the Senate to report to office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation which is unprecedented.

According to the statement, “The new appointees and their states of origin: are Dr. Pius Odubu (Edo) – Chairman, Bernard O. Okumagba (Delta) – Managing Director, Executive Director Projects – Engr. Otobong Ndem (Akwa Ibom), Executive Director Finance & Admin. – Maxwell Okoh (Bayelsa).

“State representatives in the board are Delta Rep – Prophet Jones Erue (Delta), Edo Rep – Chief Victor Ekhatar (Edo), Rivers Rep – Dr. Joy Yimebe Nunieh (Rivers), Abia Rep – Nwogu Nwogu (Abia), Bayelsa Rep – Theodore A. Allison (Bayelsa).

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“Others are Akwa Ibom Rep – Victor Antai (Akwa Ibom), Cross River Rep – Maurice Effiwatt (Cross River), Ondo Rep – Olugbenga Elema (Ondo), Imo Rep – Hon. Uchegbu Chidiebere Kyrian (Imo), Northwest Rep – Aisha Murtala Muhammed (Kano), Northeast Rep – Ardo Zubairu (Adamawa), and Southwest Rep – Engr. Badmus Mutalib (Lagos).

The statement was quoted to have reads, “The Chairman and members of the newly composed Governing Board are also invited to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation on Monday, 2nd September, 2019 at 2.00 p.m for proper documentation and briefing.

“They are to come along with their updated CVs and valid identification”.

Also appointments of such magnitude as NDDC cannot be signed and route through a “Permanent Secretary (General Services Office) in the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Olusegun A. Adekunle, Esq” as being circulated in the press release when the SFG was just sworn in to power.

“Since when did the presidency start asking appointees to report to Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation for proper documentation and briefing at a specific time and to come along with their updated CVs and valid identification in a public statement, our source queried.

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Our credible sources further said, “The entire appointments is ‘fake’, or handiwork of jobbers, because the names released are unacceptable, the entire process is faulty and the manner the names were released made it suspicious but if these turned out to scale through then the person responsible for those appointments, who authorise the release of the so-called names without following due process may be having a serious problem soon.

“Some of these names may have been penciled down for appointment, that’s before the ministerial list came out, the screening and subsequent swearing in and assignments of portfolios and alot has changed since then so why would someone wants to jump the gun to beat protocol, the source queried.

“The ‘cabal’ in the presidency has set a trap for somebody and I think he has fallen into it. That’s all I can tell you”, our source said

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