By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The chairman of Senate committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Peter Nwaoboshi, has said the purported order by the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) that he should refund N2.5billion to the Commission is a calculated ploy to divert attention from the multi-billion naira corruption rocking the agency.
Recall that the IMC of NDDC, in a letter circulating online, had allegedly ordered the Delta Central Senator to refund N2.5billion to the Commission within two weeks, for failure to execute projects awarded to him to supply plastic chairs and desks to the Commission, which it said he has not executed despite being paid fully.
But Nwaoboshi in a statement by his media aide, Awele Onokwai, said the matter was already before a competent court of law and that he had yet to receive a copy of the letter purportedly addressed to him from the NDDC.
Nwaoboshi who described the letter as fake, said it was not officially addressed or signed. He also said that the letter did not link him to any of the contracts.
The statement read in part, “Our attention has been drawn to the purported subject matter above, credited to one Peter Claver Okoro, Esq, posing as the Director, Legal Services of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and we make bold to state the following:
“The purported letter addressed to the Distinguished Senator Peter Nwaoboshi was written on the 5th of July 2020 and as at today, 8th of August 2020, the said letter has not reached Senator Peter Nwaoboshi – either in person or Office or by substitution.
“We have searched through the internet, no one has seen a copy of an officially signed letter on the above claim. This would have helped us identify whoever has signed to go to jail for such an unimaginable falsehood in a supposed corporate environment.
“The purported letter, unlike any formal letter emanating from a recognized government Ministry, Agency or Department is not signed, therefore, can easily be denied.
“The ostensive letter is obviously fake as it was not conveyed through the official letter-headed paper of the NDDC… it is obviously meant for the usual blackmail to divert attention from the monumental corruption charges hanging on the management.
“Nowhere in the contents of the purported letter was it stated that the contractor is directly linked to Distinguished Senator Peter Nwaoboshi. It is expected that since the said letter did not claim the contract was awarded to Sen Peter Nwaboshi, there was no way he could be asked to make a refund. The scam meant for blackmail contains ominous signs of a fake piece.
“In addition, nowhere in the purported letter was it stated that the warehouse, where the plastic chairs were domiciled belongs to Distinguished Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.”
However, the senator said if the IMC of NDDC feels they truly have a genuine case against him, as contained in the purported letter, they should go to the court or make use of every legal procedure available to them.