House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has issued a warrant of arrest on Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, acting Managing Director of the NDDC,.
The resolution was sequel to a unanimous adoption of a motion by Rep. Benjamin Kalu (APC-Abia) at an investigative hearing on Thursday in Abuja, following a walk-out staged by Pondei and his team, on legislators investigating an alleged N40 billion irregular expenditure in the commission.
Pondei, accused the Chairman of the Committee, Rep. Olubumi Tunji-Ojo (APC-Ondo) of corrupt practices. He said the NDDC will only respond and make presentations if the Chairman of the committee steps down.
Kalu, who is the spokesman for the house, commended the committee members for the maturity exhibited in the face of provocation by the NDDC boss.
“I want to refer this committee as well as the invited guests to section 60 which says that, the Senate or the House of Representatives shall have powers to regulate its own procedure. It is within the parameters of the law that the House regulates its activities; this is a committee affair and not a personalized affair.
“I want to move that this committee invokes the provisions of section 89 of the Constitution and invoke our powers on warrant of arrest to compel the agency to come and answer how they have administered the money appropriated to them”.
The committee passed a vote of confidence on the chairman, describing him as a man of integrity and a leader of high reputation.
Earlier, Tunji-Ojo said that the committee was mandated by the House to carry out an investigation into the alleged misappropriation of funds in the agency. He said that documents from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation showed that the NDDC had spent N81.5 billion between January and May.
The chairman recalled that officials from the CBN and the OAGF had appeared at the hearing on Wednesday and confirmed the amount so far spent by the NDDC.