Amid the probe of financial improprieties to the tune of N40 billion by the national assembly and the sudden death of the Executive Director, Finance, Chief Ibanga Bassey Enang, Thursday morning, the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC has shut down its office headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. In an internal memo dated 28th May 2020 with reference no: NDDC/HO/HAHR/3 signed by one Silas Anyawu on behalf of the management, the Commission directed all Directors,
Head of Departments/ Units and indeed, all staff to vacate the complex with immediate effect. They were asked to go into self-isolation for two weeks while the premises would be decontaminated. Also read: CSOs react to Buhari’s EO granting autonomy to state judiciary, legislature The memo was copied to the Acting Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Prof. Keme Daniel Pondei, and the Acting EDP. ADVERTISING The official reason for the shutdown was not readily known at the time of filing this report.
However, there are speculations that Enang’s death may have links to coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic infection hence the fumigation. The memo reads thus: “I am directed to inform all staff that management has approved that the Commission be shut down for two weeks from today 28th May, 2020.
“Consequently, all activities in the Commission including ongoing matters are hereby shut down for the time being “Members of staff are to ensure that all electrical appliances in their offices are switched off before leaving the premises. “The Head Security is by this memo directed to work out modalities to ensure the safety and security of the Commission while Director, Administration is requested to fumigate and decontaminate the entire offices in the Headquarters during the period.
“Meanwhile staff are enjoined to go into self-isolation for two weeks as they await further directive from management”. Meanwhile, a Non-Governmental Organization, NGO, Act for Positive Transformation Initiative, APTI has raised an alarm, saying that the latest action by NDDC was a move to cover up the National Assembly probe which is afoot.
In a press statement titled ” NDDC Probe: No Cover Up” released by its Head, Directorate of Research, Strategy & Programmes, Kolawole Johnson, APTI called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies to swiftly prevent the cover-up in the interest of the overall Niger Delta people. The statement read thus: “We call the attention of the general public, the security agencies and President Mohammadu Buhari to the unfolding drama at the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
“We had earlier raised alarm in the early hours of the day on a rumored satanic scheme to weave the death of the Acting Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the commission around COVID-19 in order for members to proceed on isolation, shut the office and frustrate the ongoing probe. We alerted some journalists as early as 7:30 am on this dubious plan and later appeared on a National Television to warn all involved to respect the dead and halt such an inhuman plot.
“Event this afternoon has finally confirmed this plan that was leaked to the public several hours before it was officially hatched.
“The commission has released a memo to begin the series of drama planned; from isolation to fake test and eventual fake confirmation. We call on the President to direct security agencies to investigate and frustrate every ploy in this regard. “The late EDFA was no doubt an accounting officer, but not the chief accounting officer. The Managing Director/CEO is the chief accounting officer.
All payments are authorized by the Executive Director, Finance & Administration while the final approval lies with the Managing Director. Most of the documents in our possession have both names, there is no way the other party can feign ignorance. “We also make a special appeal to the security agencies to protect the Managing Director/CEO of the commission. We pray God to comfort the families of the dead.”