A group, Niger Delta Justice Forum has petitioned the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami over the recently submitted forensic audit report of the Niger Delta Development Commission by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio.
In a remark shortly before he handed over the report, Akpabio had claimed that the forensic audit covered a total of 13,777 contracts that were awarded from 2001 to 2019 at a final contract value of over N3 trillion.
Akpabio disclosed that the auditors have concluded the examination and documentation of a total 13, 777 contracts for projects and programmes awarded to contractors and consultants in all Niger Delta States from 2001-August 2019, at a total final contract value of N 3,274.206,032,213.24.
However, the group in an open letter signed by the convener, Bassey Ime Idongesit and made available to OMADAILY on Friday, described the report as a sham shrouded with malevolent intent that would not stand legal and accounting challenge.
The group which faulted the report, urged the AGF to subject it to legal scrutiny, insisting that the entire process was concocted and misleading to achieve a predetermined outcome.
NDDC: Extend forensic audit to all MDAs – Group tells FG
The statement read in parts, “with due respect sir, the truth is that there was no forensic audit in the true sense of it. The report you have is the end product of a shambolic and scrappy exercise cleverly devised to deflate and buy time to continue to maintain absolute control over the finances of NDDC. It was pre-arranged to indict pre-determined targets.
“The President ordered the forensic audit in October 2019 but the audit proper in the states started less than six months ago. They never interviewed a single contractor neither did they bother to relate with the engineers and consultants who supervised the projects. It is common knowledge that the auditors didn’t visit up to 30% of the advertised 13,777 abandoned projects they wrote reports on because of the constraint of time and terrain difficulties. How then can this report withstand the slightest legal scrutiny?”
The group also noted that the report’s recommendation for board membership of the commission to be on a part-time basis was an indication of its ignorance of the provisions of the Act establishing the commission.