By Wale Abyden// Lauretta Onochie, Senior Special Assistant to the President Mohammadu Buhari has been dragged to court by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta over an alleged libelous posts and comments against the senator.
Lauretrta in the said social media post was said to have accused the Nwaoboshi’s led Senate Committee on Niger Delta as corrupt. She was said to have called Senator Nwaoboshi thief. The Senator however wrote the presidential aide to apologize and when she refused to do so, Nwaoboshi had no other option than to drag her to court to proof he’s not a thief.
A Writ of Summon from the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in the Abuja Judicial Division, dated on 15/June/2020 has been served to the presidential aide. Sighted by Investigation Media, the Writ of Summons with Suite No:CU/1827/2020 has been delivered by D.H Bwala, a legal practitioner in Abuja.
It is no more news that there are persistent accusations and counter accusations between the Ministry of Niger Delta, Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC and Senate Committee on Niger Delta over an alleged monumental fraud in the NDDC.
The alleged fraud in the NDDC, according to findings has necessitated a probe by the National Assembly into the alleged mismanagement of funds by the interim management committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)
The persistence allegation of fraud also compelled President Muhammadu Buhari to order a forensic audit of IMC since October 2019.
And since the Senate passed a resolution to probe an alleged diversion of N40 billion by the interim management committee (IMC) of the NDDC, neither the NDDC nor the Niger Delta Ministry has stopped attacking the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Commission.
NDDC accused members of the National Assembly of inserting over 500 non-existent projects into its 2019 budget.
Peter Nwaoboshi, the Senator representing Delta North from Delta State and Chairman Senate committee on Niger Delta alleged that Charles Odili, spokesman of the NDDC was compelled to level corruption allegations against Senator for carrying out its oversight functions.
Odili has in a statement in June 8th, 2020 accused Nwaoboshi of using 11 companies as fronts to secure himself a N3.6 billion contract in September 2016.
“We believe that until Senator Nwaoboshi absolves himself of his role in the looting of the resources of the commission, he should step aside from any investigative activity against the commission,” the NDDC spokesman said.
“From our findings, the person who has questions to answer to the Niger Delta people is Senator Nwaoboshi.”
The NDDC spokesman also listed “Noan Integrated Services; De Towers Constructions & Allied Services Ltd; Franstine Nigeria Enterprises; Edrihide Company; Isumabe U.K. Global; Benchmark Construction & Allied Services Ltd; Millstone Allied Builders Ltd; Nelpat Nigeria Company; Agh-Rown Ventures; Edendoma Stars International; and Antlers Construction and Allied Works Ltd as the companies the senator allegedly used as fronts to corruptly enriched himself”.
But the senator has since denied the allegation and filed a defamation suit against Odili.
Sources close to the Nwaoboshi told INVESTIGATION MEDIA that Odili has become afraid following the suit filed against him by the Senator.
“I can tell you that he is worried. He was made to level those allegations against the senator now he has been dragged to court,” a source said.
Established in 2000 by the Olusegun Obasanjo’s led regime, the Niger Delta Development Commission is a federal government agency with the sole mandate of developing the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
In September 2008, President Umaru Yar’Adua announced the formation of a Niger Delta Ministry, with the Niger Delta Development Commission to become a parastatal under the ministry. One of the core mandates of the Commission is to train and educate the youths of the oil rich Niger Delta regions to curb hostilities and militancy, while developing key infrastructure to promote diversification and productivity.