President Muhammadu Buhari has approved that the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) be recomposed and inaugurated after the forensic audit of the organization, according to a terse statement Thursday morning.
“The President has also directed that the Interim Management Team of the NDDC shall be in place till the forensic is completed and that the supervision of the Commission shall remain under the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs”, said Femi Adesina, presidential media adviser.
The President’s position contradicts the position of the Senate which approved on November 6 the board headed by Pius Odubu, former deputy governor of Edo state and Bernard Okumagba as managing director and asked it to take over the affairs of the commission.
Dr. Pius Odubu, his NDDC Senate approved board demobilized by Buhari, now on tenterhooks
The upper chamber cleared 15 nominees of President Buhari and rejected Dr. Joy Nunieh, who was appointed by Niger Delta Minister, Godswill Akpabio to head an interim management committee to oversee a forensic audit of the agency.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on the NDDC, Peter Nwaoboshi, while presenting the report of the screening, said Nunieh from Rivers state, shunned the panel’s invitation.
Other nominees that passed the senate screening were Bayelsa State’s Maxwell Okoh as Executive Director Finance and Administration, Prophet Erue (Delta), Victor Ekhator (Edo), Otobong Ndem (Akwa Ibom), Nwogu Nwogu (Abia), Theodore Allison (Bayelsa), Maurice Effiwatt (Cross River), Uchegbu Kyrian (Imo) and Ardo Zubairu (North-East), Olugbenga Elema Ondo), Aisha Muhammed (North-West), Victor Antai (Akwa Ibom) and Abdullahi Bage (North-Central).
The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, told the new NDDC board to take over the affairs of the agency immediately as the law setting up the NDDC does not recognise any interim arrangement once a board is in place.
It now appears that Lawan has been overruled by Buhari, who has now put the 15-man board on tenterhooks as he hinted of a reconstitution of the board, after the completion of the audit.