Leke Baiyewu, Abuja
The House of Representatives has suspended its investigation of projects abandoned by the Niger Delta Development Commission.
The suspension is due to the audit of the commission as ordered by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The Chairman of the ad hoc committee set up by the House in September 2019 to investigate abandoned projects since NDDC was created, Mr Nicholas Ossai, told The PUNCH that the order issued by Buhari had addressed the issues leading to the probe.
The projects are spread across NDDC member-states, namely Ondo, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Edo, Imo, Delta and Rivers.
The committee, at its inaugural public hearing, had directed the commission to recover over N67bn and other money disbursed for the abandoned projects.
The committee’s chairman had said over 600 contractors were awarded contracts by the NDDC across the states of jurisdiction, which he said were mostly dubious.
Speaking with our correspondent on the telephone, Ossai said, “The executive has taken over it (the probe). By setting up the probe panel; is it not part of the implementation (of the lawmakers’ probe)? They are already doing an audit of the commission, which is one of our recommendations.”
The lawmaker noted that a court had affirmed that the President had the powers to override the Act establishing the NDDC.
“He chose to use his constitutional power; I think the President is doing well as regards the NDDC,” he said.
Checks by our correspondent, however, showed that the House had yet to consider and adopt a report by the committee.