Civil Society Organisations in Akwa Ibom State have alleged that over 65 per cent of contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission in the state in the last five years are fake and non-existent.
This was disclosed by the CSOs at a press conference in Uyo to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day 2021.
It was with the theme: “Your right, your role: Say no to corruption.”
The CSO Chairman in Akwa Ibom State Harry Udoh, said the NDDC had lost more than N6 trillion to corruption since it was established.
Udoh listed such non-existent projects in Akwa Ibom State to include fake water project at Okosi community in Okobo Local Government, non-existent perimeter fencing at Model School, Ikot Oboroenyin village in Ikot Abasi Council Area and another road project at Urue Offong in Oruko Local Government.
He said that the fake projects were discovered when the CSOs decided to track the commission’s projects in the 2019 budget.
He said it was a shocking revelation at Okosi community where the NDDC claimed that it had completed water project for the people, but the people were found grappling with perennial water problem.
He said: “We are just coming from an independent tracking of 2019 approved budgeted projects and programmes of the commission in Akwa Ibom State.
“It may interest you to note that of the 31 projects captured in the 2019 approved budget and tracked by us, about 65 per cent of them are non-existent.
“They could not be located.
“Community members were not aware of such projects in their communities and were actually shocked to learn that there was an approved project by the NDDC for their communities.
“Of the projects actually implemented, over 85 per cent of them were shoddy jobs.
“We saw asphalt coating that was less than an inch and there were several failed portions already.
“In instances, the project description as captured in the 2019 budget was different from what we saw on the ground.
“For instance, at Ikot Oborenyen in Ikot Abasi, the projection description in the budget read perimeter fencing of a model primary school, but what we found was a drain constructed around an open space with no building whatsoever on it and with no sign that construction work is about to begin.”
Udoh alleged that the funds had been siphoned through uncompleted projects dotting the landscape of the state.
He added: “Again, huge amount of critical fund has been spent with not much to show for it.
“How long would we continue to allow the colossal wastage?
“Let’s stop the corruption in NDDC now.”
Obasanjo to PDP leaders: I can never return to your party
Nigeria’s ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo has informed leaders of opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party that he will not return to the party.
This was made known on Saturday when a PDP delegation led by the National Chairman of the party, Iyorchia Ayu, four former governors, and members of the party’s National Working Committee visited him at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State.
In the team include the PDP Vice-Presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Peter Obi; former Governors, Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Liyel Imoke (Cross River) and Donald Duke (Cross River).
The Deputy National Chairman of PDP (South), Taofeek Arapaja, and other party officials were part of the entourage.
Addressing the PDP delegation, Obasanjo said, “I’m no longer in partisan politics and there is nothing that can bring back. Anybody who wants my advice, I will always be there in the best interest of Nigeria.
“Whatever I do in my own life…because I became president on the platform of PDP, PDP will continue to be part of my life. Since the day I tore my PDP card, that was the day I ceased to be a member of PDP. That day I vowed not to be a member of any political party.
“I will continue to be a statesman.”
Obasanjo told Ayu that he has the problems of PDP and Nigeria on his shoulders, and prayed God to give him the wisdom to carry it.
Responding, Ayu told Obasanjo that “if you leave PDP, the blood of PDP will never leave you.”
He said the party would always require his fatherly advice towards governance in Nigeria.
Obasanjo was first Head of State from 1976 to 1979. After his prison ordeal, Obasanjo was later elected Nigeria’s President from 1999 to 2007 on the platform of the PDP.
He, however, publicly tore his PDP membership card in February 2015 after a feud with ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
Teenager Stabs Sugarcane Seller To Death In Borno
The Borno State Police Command has arrested a 13-year-old boy identified as Abdullahi Sanusi for the alleged murder of a 19-year-old man named Mohammed Abdullahi over refusal to pay for sugarcane.
The police said the victim on Wednesday forcefully took the suspect’s sugarcane without payment and when the former asked for money, Abdullahi started beating him.
The suspect then used the knife, which he was using to cut sugarcane to stab the neck of the victim.
Borno State Commissioner of Police on Friday said the victim died at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.
“On the same date (19/01/2022) at about 1700hrs, one Abdullahi Sanusi, 13, of the same address used a sharp knife, which he was using to cut sugarcane and stabbed one Mohammed Abdullahi, 19, on his neck at Mallawan in Gidan Dambe area,” the commissioner said.
“As a result, the victim sustained serious injury. He was rushed to UMTH for treatment but later died on the same date.
“The suspect alleged that the deceased forcefully took away his sugar cane and refused to pay and when the suspect demanded his money, the deceased started beating him as a result of which the suspect stabbed the victim with a knife,” he added.
Similarly, Umar also confirmed the arrest of Ahmad Umar Goni, an SS2 student of Elkenemy College of Islamic Theology.
Ahmad was arrested for allegedly using a razor blade to slit the neck of Jubril Sadi Mato, a JSS1 student of the school.