Home Nigeria Alleged N47bn Fraud: Ex-NDDC MD, Nsima Ekere in EFCC Net

Alleged N47bn Fraud: Ex-NDDC MD, Nsima Ekere in EFCC Net

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Nsima Ekere
Nsima Ekere
By Uche Amunike
The former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Nsima Ekere, has been arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wednesday, for allegedly diverting N47bn through registered contractors of the NDDC.
The arrest of Nsima Ekere, EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwajuren confirmed to Newsmen, is official.
A reliable source who pleaded anonymity said that the former NDDC boss was detained after he surrendered himself to the office of the EFCC in Lagos, Wednesday.
Hear him: ‘Mr Ekere has been under investigation for years. He surrendered himself for arrest on Wednesday after realizing that the commission was closing in on him.’
He went on to explain that the 56 year old Nsima Ekere, who was the Managing Director of the NDDC between 2016 and 2018, was also the governorship candidate for Akwa Ibom in the 2019 elections under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC and is being currently investigated for allegations of contract inflation and awarding of fictitious contracts during his tenure as MD of NDDC.
Mr Nsime Ekere, EFCC explained, allegedly committed the offences from 2017 and laundered funds from NDDC accounts through contractors to buy expensive properties in Lagos.
The NDDC, which was set up to address the peculiar developmental challenges facing oil producing states in the country has performed poorly in areas of achieving the goals for which it was set up due to the massive corruption in the system.
Ekere’s arrest is the latest scandal that has been linked so far to the NDDC after President Buhari demanded the forensic audit of the agency in 2019. He demanded for another audit report in 2021 and the results of the report showed that over 13,000 projects were abandoned in the region since the agency was created. The audit under review covered operations of the NDDC from 2001 to 2019.
Buhari, angered by the level of corruption discovered through the findings of the EFCC, vowed that his government will recover ‘every kobo’ misappropriated by the NDDC.
His words, while commissioning the NDDC prototype hostel at the University of Uyo, Akwa-Ibom in December 2021: ‘the serial abuse, lack of delivery and what had become an entrenched institution decay was the reason why I called for the forensic audit.’
‘Therefore, going forward, we shall ensure every recoverable kobo is recovered for use in service of the people of this region, and those found culpable shall face the Law’, he averred.
When the former Akwa Ibom Governor and Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio submitted the audit report to President Buhari in September 2021, he stated: ‘The report of the audit committee showed that there are over 13,000 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta and even before the submission of the report, some contractors have returned to site on their own and completed about 77 road projects. Although the exercise had a chequered history, I thank Mr President and all those who supported and ensured its success.’
The Akwa Ibom State born Ekere, who was the leader of the G22, a group of 22 aggrieved PDP governorship aspirants for the 2015 governorship election, defected to the APC after he lost the governorship primary election of the PDP to the incumbent Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom.
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