NDDC: Buhari replaces Pondei months after collapsing during questioning

President Muhammadu Buhari has removed the Kemebradikumo Pondei-led Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The president also appointed Mr. Effiong Okon Akwa, the Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Commission, as its Interim Administrator.

President Buhari conveyed this in a terse Saturday night statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of an interim administrator to oversee the affairs of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)

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“He is Mr Effiong Okon Akwa, the Ag. Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Commission, who is to assume headship till completion of the forensic audit.

“Mr Akwa is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“The development became necessary as a result of plethora of litigation and a restraining order issued recently against the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC by a Federal High Court in Abuja.”

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Recall that Buhari appointed Pondei, who is a professor of medicine at the Niger Delta University (NDU), in February.

Allegations of corruption have been levelled against the IMC that he leads.

Tne National Assembly subsequently commenced an investigation into some of the allegations.

While appearing before the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee on Niger Delta on July 20, Pondei become an overnight celebrity in Nigeria as he collapsed during questioning.

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Many Nigerians however accused him of pretending to stop his quizzing by the committee, an allegation he denied.

Akwa is expected to lead the NDDC until the conclusion of a forensic audit ordered by the president.